12 Dec 2013

Foreign ownership restrictions on coal company lifted

8:21 am on 12 December 2013

Australian Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has scrapped a set of foreign ownership conditions stopping Yanzhou of China from taking full ownership of an Australian coal miner.

Under conditions set by the previous government in 2009, Yanzhou was required to reduce its stake in Yancoal to 70% by the end of this year.

However, in July this year Yanzhou announce plans to take 100% control of Yancoal and remove it from the Australian share market.

The ABC reports Yanzhou currently holds 78% of Yancoal, which operates 10 coal mines in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. It is one of Australia's biggest publicly listed coal miners.

Mr Hockey has scrapped those conditions and says the Government is open to Yanzhou taking a 100% stake.

"So long as Yanzhou continues to own at least 51 per cent of the shares of Yancoal, Yanzhou will ensure Yancoal continues to operate so that it remains solvent,'' he said in a statement on Wednesday.