THE NEWS WRAP: Speculation Chinese mining giant will buy Tinkler’s Whitehaven stake

There is renewed speculation Chinese miner Shenhua Group could buy Nathan Tinkler’s 19.4% stake in Whitehaven Coal.


The speculation was sparked after Reuters reported Noonday, the Farallon Capital subsidiary that had served as Tinkler’s main lender, had entered into talks with Shenhua and an unnamed Japanese firm.


Tinkler’s $700 million debt to Noonday is reportedly secured against his stake in Whitehaven Coal as a number of the former Rich Lister’s companies face wind-up action from the tax office.


“Markets could go haywire” if debt ceiling isn’t raised: Obama


US President Barack Obama has warned that markets could go haywire and interest rates could rise if the congress doesn’t agree to raise the US sovereign debt ceiling.


“To entertain the idea of this happening, of the United States of America not paying its bills, it is irresponsible, it is absurd,” Obama says.


The United States is expected to run up against its current debt limit of $US16.4 trillion by the end of February if congress does not pass legislation increasing the US federal government’s debt limit.


Swan says savings will fund campaign pledges


Treasurer Wayne Swan has pledged to fund election promises through budget savings, after conceding the mining tax is not raising the revenue it was projected to.


Swan insists the government will be able to deliver flagship reforms including the National Disability Insurance scheme and the school funding increases recommended in the Gonski report by finding “significant savings” in the May budget.


Aside from the mining tax, Swan also cited a downward pressure on company tax revenue on a $4 billion budget shortfall.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.13% to 13,505.50. The Australian dollar is up to US105.7 cents.


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