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Analysis and Comment (27)

The notion that Chinese buyers are pushing up house prices is a “zombie idea” The notion that Chinese buyers are pushing up house prices is a “zombie idea” www.shutterstock.com

Zombie economics: the notion China is to blame for Australia’s property bubble refuses to die

Despite valiant efforts by commentators such as Bernard Keane and Michael Pascoe to slay claims that Chinese buyers are making it harder for ordinary Australians to enter the housing market, the notion…
Are Australians blaming the wrong people for skyrocketing house prices? Are Australians blaming the wrong people for skyrocketing house prices? Dan Peled/AAP

Seven things keeping house prices high (and foreign investment isn’t one of them)

Further reading: Little hard data in the area of foreign investment Don’t be misled on Chinese foreign investment: read the facts Don’t blame foreign investment for rising house prices Explainer: why negative…
Australia’s housing market is among the most expensive in the world. Australia’s housing market is among the most expensive in the world. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Speaking with: Michael Darcy on housing affordability

In the past six months the federal government has cut the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and announced an inquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate. In both cases the government…
We must address patchy data collection to get an accurate picture of foreign property investment. We must address patchy data collection to get an accurate picture of foreign property investment. ABS

Little hard data in the hard area of foreign investment

A large portion of commentary on foreign investment in Australia is based on scant data, as recent submissions to the inquiry into foreign investment in residential property show. At the moment it seems…
All aboard the pizza express to China. All aboard the pizza express to China. Ben Sutherland

Chinese capital could soon own much of high street, UK

In what might be termed “fusion finance”, a Chinese private equity company, Hony Capital, has purchased UK restaurant chain Pizza Express for £900m. This isn’t the first time a Chinese firm has bought…
The government is seeking a free trade agreement with China by the end of the year, but concerns still remain about Chinese investment in Australia. The government is seeking a free trade agreement with China by the end of the year, but concerns still remain about Chinese investment in Australia. Daniel Munoz/AAP

Don’t be misled on Chinese foreign investment: read the facts

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott shifts his Asian tour focus to China, it seems likely the threshold for formal approval on Chinese investment in Australia will be raised to A$1 billion. But any move to open…
There’s no shortage of investors in high-rise housing, but is it occupied? There’s no shortage of investors in high-rise housing, but is it occupied? Dan Peled/AAP

Housing blame game here to stay in world of infinite demand

It is true that the main culprits for housing prices in Australia are taxation and regulation regimes, as argued by Stephen Kirchner last week. But this is more because of their impact on demand than supply…
More international competition won’t necessarily drive down infrastructure costs if the groundwork isn’t done by governments. More international competition won’t necessarily drive down infrastructure costs if the groundwork isn’t done by governments. AAP/Tony McDonough

How to attract foreign firms to do Australian infrastructure

Australia’s two biggest construction companies, Leighton and Lend Lease, control a significant share of construction – up to 75% in cases such as major rail projects. The recent Productivity Commission…
The National Rental Affordability Scheme is working as designed, but has failed to meet targets. The National Rental Affordability Scheme is working as designed, but has failed to meet targets. jroyals/Flickr

Rental affordability scheme fears are misplaced

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) looks set for a major shakeup by the government, following suggestions it has been hijacked by universities to develop subsidised studio apartments for wealthy…
Australian farmland is changing hands more often, but data on who is buying and selling is inadequate. Australian farmland is changing hands more often, but data on who is buying and selling is inadequate. Erin Smith

Lost in the paddock: Australia flying blind on farm ownership

The debate about who owns Australia’s farmland is often expressed in crude and narrow ways, and not just on talkback radio. Take last year’s leaders debate at Rooty Hill during the final week of the election…
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce: “An unacceptable result”. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce: “An unacceptable result”. Paul Miller/AAPImage

Qantas to slash 5000 jobs in bid to save $2bn: experts react

Qantas will cut 5000 jobs, freeze wages of all staff, and sell or defer buying more than 50 aircraft in a bid to cut A$2 billion in costs. The airline said the roles to be lost include 1500 management…
Qantas is poised to receive some form of government assistance, but will it act in the national interest? Qantas is poised to receive some form of government assistance, but will it act in the national interest? griffs0000/Flickr

Qantas can’t have it both ways on foreign ownership

The Federal Government appears ready to “throw a lifeline” to Qantas, which has been seeking a government-backed debt guarantee and a lifting of the 49% foreign ownership limit in the Qantas Sale Act…
Treasurer Joe Hockey has flagged competition issues after rejecting the ADM takeover of GrainCorp, but he failed to say how he would fix the GrainCorp monopoly. Treasurer Joe Hockey has flagged competition issues after rejecting the ADM takeover of GrainCorp, but he failed to say how he would fix the GrainCorp monopoly. Alan Porritt/AAP

Hockey’s GrainCorp decision opens competition can of worms

When Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey quashed the acquisition of GrainCorp by Archer Daniels Midland on national interest grounds, his stated reasons were based on competition. Despite it being five years…
Treasurer Joe Hockey has blocked the A$3.4 billion bid by US giant Archer Daniel Midlands for GrainCorp. Treasurer Joe Hockey has blocked the A$3.4 billion bid by US giant Archer Daniel Midlands for GrainCorp. AAP

Hockey kills GrainCorp takeover by ADM: experts react

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has rejected the proposed takeover of GrainCorp by US grain handling giant Archer Daniels Midland, arguing the takeover would not be in the public interest. Mr Hockey said…
Close to 90% of Australia’s farmland remains locally owned. Close to 90% of Australia’s farmland remains locally owned. Flickr: Cha222

Why not let agriculture benefit from foreign investment?

Why do we clamour to keep foreign-owned car makers here, paying them billions of dollars to stay, while being wary of foreign investment in farms? Around 0.1% of foreign investment last year was in agriculture…
Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. AAP

Infrastructure prime minister must face Chinese elephant in room

Tony Abbott wants to be known as the infrastructure prime minister. He could be remembered for building roads and scrapping high-speed rail. But the role of Chinese finance and technical expertise in infrastructure…
The Australian Coalition arrangement is set apart from coalitions elsewhere by its ongoing nature, even in opposition, and the fact that the parties go into elections with a common election platform. The Australian Coalition arrangement is set apart from coalitions elsewhere by its ongoing nature, even in opposition, and the fact that the parties go into elections with a common election platform. AAP

Minority government likely to continue after Saturday

Much has been made of the ‘unusual’ nature of the minority Labor government over the past three years and there has been a sense that Australia is better off without it; that we need a return to the stability…
Foreign companies are interested in Australian farm land – but are our rules as protective as those in other countries? Foreign companies are interested in Australian farm land – but are our rules as protective as those in other countries? Flickr/Andy

FactCheck: do many other countries restrict foreign investment in agricultural land?

“We often get criticised for trying to be protective. I actually look around the world and I see many, many countries being equally protective of their own core assets.” - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, third…
Dividend washing enables some domestic investors to essentially gain a dividend “twice”. Dividend washing enables some domestic investors to essentially gain a dividend “twice”. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

A frank debate - dividend washing and double dipping

There is currently considerable interest in the practice of “dividend washing”. This refers to the practice of investors being able to trade shares cum-dividend for a period after the ex-dividend date…
Sensible Australian farmers don’t object when foreign investors want to buy their problematic assets. Sensible Australian farmers don’t object when foreign investors want to buy their problematic assets. AAP Image/Cubbie Group

Cubbie Station sale no threat to food security

Controversy surrounding the recent sale of Cubbie Station in Queensland near the New South Wales border to (mainly) Chinese interests is not unexpected. Fears about foreign ownership in Australia are long-standing…
If China opens up its capital account, there will be significant ramifications for Australia. If China opens up its capital account, there will be significant ramifications for Australia. epSos.de

The liberalisation of China’s capital account will be a game-changer for Australia

In previous articles on The Conversation, I have noted that our economic relationship with China stands on only one leg. In contrast to two-way trade – merchandise trade topped $120 billlion in the year…
Tony Abbott has taken aim at Chinese investment that comes with government connections, arguing that such investment is not in Australia’s national interest. Tony Abbott has taken aim at Chinese investment that comes with government connections, arguing that such investment is not in Australia’s national interest. AAP

Dear Tony Abbott: block Chinese investment at your own risk

Opposition leader Tony Abbott made headlines recently when during a visit to China, he declared that “it would rarely be in Australia’s national interest to allow a foreign government or its agencies to…
There is little evidence to suggest that foreign investment is driving up the prices of Australian real estate. There is little evidence to suggest that foreign investment is driving up the prices of Australian real estate. AAP

Don’t blame foreign investment for rising house prices

One question that arises on the topic of real estate is the scale of foreign investment and ownership in Australia. It is understandable that the public has concerns about such investment, especially as…
It’s time for policymakers to address Australia’s poor record in attracting Chinese investment. It’s time for policymakers to address Australia’s poor record in attracting Chinese investment. AAP

Australia’s great, untapped resource … Chinese investment

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Today, Dr James Laurenceson asks…
The Australian government faces a difficult task in balancing relationships with China and the US. The Australian government faces a difficult task in balancing relationships with China and the US. EPA/Minoru Iwasaki/Pool

What the Huawei case tells us about the Australia, US, China nexus

The recommendation by intelligence agency ASIO that Chinese telecommunications company Huawei be banned from tendering in the National Broadband Network because of cyber security concerns, raises serious…
Dick Smith has been vocal about Woolworths selling his former electronics business - but his arguments don’t stack up. Dick Smith has been vocal about Woolworths selling his former electronics business - but his arguments don’t stack up. AAP

No place for jingoism in Woolies' sell-off of Dick Smith

Entrepreneur Dick Smith has been very vocal in the past few days about the prospect of his namesake retail business falling into “foreign hands”. Despite him selling the electronics chain to Woolworths…

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