News / Asia

Chinese Food Giant Eyes Australian Sugar Maker in Billion-Dollar Offer

Chinese Food Giant Eyes Australian Sugar Maker in Billion-Dollar Offer
Chinese Food Giant Eyes Australian Sugar Maker in Billion-Dollar Offer

Multimedia

Audio

A Chinese food giant has offered $1.4 billion to buy one of Australia's biggest sugar companies.  The huge bid could reignite concerns about Chinese investment in Australia. 

Shanghai's biggest food company, Bright Food Group, is trying to buy the sugar business of CSR, one of Australia's oldest firms.

Bright Food has some powerful and wealthy backers.  Its majority shareholder is the Shanghai City government, which would fund any takeover of the Australian company.

Industry experts say that such an acquisition would make sound economic sense, as sugar prices have more doubled in the past year.

CSR has rejected the Chinese offer and it is unclear if Bright Food will return with a sweeter deal to tempt the Australians.

Some analysts believe the move could exacerbate tensions about Chinese investment in Australian firms, amid concerns about foreigners controlling vital and lucrative assets.

China is the third biggest investor in Australia and has recently taken control of coal mines in New South Wales and Queensland.  Chinese enterprises also have substantial stakes in minerals heavyweights Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals.

Mark Causer, a senior investment adviser at Australia's Perspective Group, says that Canberra will always look after national interests first.

"I still think that the Australian government will protect, at all costs, Australian interests," Causer said.  "But they will also look at the opportunities that external capital, in this case from China, what it will offer to Australian companies, the Australian public and the Australian shareholders."

In the past year several proposed investments by Chinese companies in Australia have been rejected by the country's Investment Review Board, which oversees foreign acquisitions.  This has led to complaints from China that the system is unfair and not transparent.

Late in 2009, the board publicly rebutted those criticisms, stressing that in the previous 18 months it had approved Chinese investments in Australia worth around $30 billion.

During the last year, there were concerns that difficult bilateral diplomatic ties would harm business arrangements between Beijing and Canberra.

Relations soured when Stern Hu, a senior Australian mining executive, was arrested by Chinese officials in July on suspicion of stealing classified commercial information.   Tensions worsened when an exiled Uighur leader accused by Beijing of terrorism was allowed to visit Australia.

Despite these political problems, the power of money has kept China and Australia on sound commercial terms. 

Trade between these Asia-Pacific partners is now worth $60 billion a year, much of it in favor of Australian mining companies.
 

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More