Australians oppose Chinalco deal

Six out of 10 Australians want the Federal Government to block Chinalco's proposed $27 billion investment in Rio Tinto, according to a Newspoll taken over the weekend.

Six out of 10 Australians want the Federal Government to block Chinalco’s proposed $27 billion investment in Rio Tinto, according to a Newspoll taken over the weekend.

The poll has revealed that 59% of respondents believe Chinalco should not be allowed to raise its stake in the Australian miner from 9 to 18%, and that Australian mining assets should rather stay in local hands.

31% said they thought the deal should be approved.

Treasurer Wayne Swan and the Foreign Investment Revue Board (FIRB) recently extended the review period of the deal and have until June 19 to make its decision.

In recent weeks FIRB has taken a varied approach to local Chinese investment, allowing Hunan Valin’s investment in Fortescue Metals, but blocking China Minmetals’ $2.6 billion takeover bid of OZ Minerals in grounds of national security.

The Newspoll also showed that the majority of Australians are not opposed to only Chinese investment, with 52% believing that no foreign companies should be allowed to buy Australian mining assets.

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