Foreign investment bids double

Approvals for foreign investment proposals more than doubled last year, but the number of rejections also soared as a result of the government’s increased scrutiny of house buying by temporary residents, new figures show.

The Foreign Investment Review Board’s (FIRB) annual report shows the number of approved foreign investment proposals rose to 10,293, while rejections jumped from three to 43.

The approved proposals were valued at $176.7 billion in 2010-11, up from 4,401 proposals worth $139.5 billion the previous year.

One rejection was FIRB’s decision to block the $8.4 billion takeover of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) by the Singapore Stock Exchange.

“This is the only occasion since 2001 that a business proposal was found by the Treasurer to be contrary to the national interest,” wrote retiring FIRB chairman John Phillips.


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