Lambie quits Palmer United Party; Medibank IPO nets $5.6 billion for the government: Midday Roundup

Lambie quits Palmer United Party; Medibank IPO nets $5.6 billion for the government: Midday Roundup

Senator Jackie Lambie has broken ties with mining-magnate-turned-politician Clive Palmer this morning by resigning from the Palmer United Party, reports Fairfax.

Less than a week after using her power in the Senate to help pass a motion to disallow the federal government’s Freedom of Financial Advice reforms, Lambie informed the Senate she will now sit as an independent.

“I don’t have the time or the energy to be drawn into a political mud-slinging content,” Lambie said in reference to her public falling-out with Palmer.

“I will not be drawn into the game of responding to hurtful and false personal attacks.”

The move could cause further difficulties in the Senate for the government, with Lambie saying she will “never vote” for the government’s proposed higher education reforms or a GP co-payment.

However, Lambie says the split means she is free to negotiate with the government on its plans to scale back the renewable energy target and to scrape the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Medibank IPO nets $5.679 billion for the government

The federal government has raised $5.679 billion from the initial public offering for Medibank Private, reports Business Spectator.

Institutional investors will pay $2.15 a share for the health insurance provider when it floats on the Australian Securities Exchange at midday tomorrow. Retail investors, who will secure the bulk of the shares on offer, have locked in a price of $2 a share thanks to overwhelming demand.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the government made a deliberate decision to allow retail investors to buy 60% of Medibank’s shares, which equates to $3.31 billion.

“We felt it was appropriate to allocate 60% to mums and dads across Australia to ensure that they can appropriately share in the future of Medibank,” Cormann said.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have traded higher this morning, with local investor buoyed by the impending float of Medibank Private and stronger trading on global markets.

“After a couple of weeks of steady weakness we have seen the Australian sharemarket bounce back heard to begin the trading week,” said Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities.

“Stocks were higher across the world as worldwide investor sentiment was boosted on the back of a stimulus measure in China, which saw a cut to lending and deposit rates, while in Europe, the ECB announced it has started its stimulus measures to encourage banks to lend and help stimulate the economy.”

“The market will continue to make small gains into the afternoon session, with no economic data releases around the region and ahead of Medibank’s listing on the exchange at 12.00pm tomorrow.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 61.8 points to 5366.1 points at 12.00pm AEDT. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 91.06 points higher, up 0.51% to 17810.1 points.

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