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Australia brands CKI offers gas tools “opposed” to national interest

Australia treasurer has said that the proposed $ 13.8 billion US $ 9.8 billion acquisition of the Australian gas pipeline…

Australia treasurer has said that the proposed $ 13.8 billion US $ 9.8 billion acquisition of the Australian gas pipeline company APA Group through Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure would be “contrary to national interest” and put a negative tone for the future of investment relations between Australia and China.

The deal was announced in June and was quickly considered a test case for how Chinese investment would be received in Australia after a new agency was formed to review incoming investments.

Led by the United States, governments around the world have increased the review of Chinese investment over the past two years. CKI, founded by the Asian tycon Li Ka-shing, is not a China-based company, and many observers believe the government has gathered Hong Kong’s companies with groups from China.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in September that it would not block the deal. But Australian Governor Josh Frydenberg said in a statement on Wednesday that his negative view on the deal had been formed with advice from the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or the FIRB, and the Critical Infrastructure Center.

Frydenberg said: “The FIRB could not reach a unanimous recommendation and expressed its concern about aggregation and national interests the consequences of such a dominant foreign player in the gas and electricity industry in the longer term.”

But he also said the investment from Cheung Kong-affiliated groups is welcome in Australia: “The Australian government welcomes CK Group’s investment in Australia and its broader contribution to the Australian economy.”

Bankers and lawyers following the deal have said that the outcome will put an end to investment relations for Australia and China for the coming years.

“We benefited from the resource boom, driven entirely by China, but now we fall behind the United States saying that we do not want China anymore, says a Sydney-based business maker.

The APA offer was led by CKI , but also included CK Asset and Power Assets. The CKI and CK Asset are managed by CK Hutchison, Hong Kong-based holding company, built by Li Ka-shing, who went down in early May at the age of 89 and handled his teeth Elder son Victor. 1

9659002] CKI did not respond immediately to a request for comments.

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