In & out

December 28, 2006

67,853 people left Australia. There were 131,593 arrivals (one day, I hope to be one of them…).

“What it is, is an international market for labour. People will take advantage of opportunities they can’t get in Australia, and people will come to Australia for opportunities they can’t get elsewhere. There would be concern if we were getting information that said they’re leaving because Australia can’t compete (with other countries), But we haven’t seen any compelling evidence that there’s a brain drain happening, a la New Zealand.”

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5,60 AUD for a Qantas share

December 15, 2006

The Qantas board accepted the bid worth 11 billion Australian dollar. The airline company is taken over by a group of foreign and Australian investors. Some participants of the consortium are Macquarie, Texas Pacific Group and Onex from Canada. 60% of the shares will remain Australian, but Qantas will be delisted from the stock exchanges.

The new owners of the airline company don’t want to change the strategy. Qantas will not be broken into pieces, they said. But it isn’t clear what they will do with the national carrier.

Politicians fear that the bid will damage the airline and that the public will chose another carrier. Moreover, they think this deal can have a backlash on them as well, as next year Australians go to the poll.

The Australian wheat exporter AWB is to temporarily lose its monopoly. AWB is the sole exporter of Australian wheat. But after reports that it paid bribes to the Saddam regime in Iraq, the situation was criticised.

The government said AWB would lose its power to veto exports for six months, reports the BBC. The threat that the monopoly would be abolished forever, was not executed. Rivals of AWB see opportunity to sell crops overseas.

AWB was one of the biggest suppliers of the United Nations Oil for Food program.