On 4 August 2009 the Treasurer, Mr Wayne Swan, announced reforms
to the Australia's foreign investment screening framework.
Currently the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers legislation
contains six thresholds which prescribe when an overseas business
investing in Australia must be reviewed by the Foreign Investment
Review Board ("FIRB") or when it must notify the Federal
The most common threshold is an acquisition of 15 per cent or
more in an Australian business valued at $100 million or more,
while offshore takeovers are subject to a threshold of $200
There are also three investment thresholds for United States
investors only. The first threshold is indexed at $110 million for
sensitive sector acquisitions, the second is indexed at $219
million for offshore takeovers and the third is indexed at $953
million for investment in non-sensitive sectors.
The Treasurer has proposed to replace the lowest four thresholds
with a single threshold of $219 million. This will ensure that
overseas business buying a stake greater than 15 per cent in
companies valued below $219 million will be able to do so without
review by the FIRB.
The only other threshold that will remain will be for United
States investors only and will be indexed at $953 million for
investment in non-sensitive sectors.
The Treasurer has also proposed that the thresholds will be
indexed to inflation on 1 January every year.
The other major proposal announced by the Treasurer is the
abolition of the threshold which requires private investors
establishing a new business in Australia valued above $10 million
to notify the Federal Government.
According to the Treasurer, based on 2008-09 figures, the
proposed reforms will mean that around 20 per cent of all business
applications will no longer need to be reviewed by the FIRB.
The Government hopes to introduce the amending regulation by
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An actuarial review of the Invensys Australia Superannuation Fund showed it to be in surplus to the tune of $189.2 million. In mid 2003, the Invensys Group proposed to the trustee that the surplus be repatriated to the principal employer in the group.
CIVs will have flow-through status for tax purposes and similar criteria as the MITs, to encourage foreign investment.
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