Poll points to a Coalition win; Rinehart gets $3.2 billion financing deal: Midday roundup

The Coalition would win in a landslide if a federal election were held today, a new poll shows.

In the Fairfax/Nielsen poll, the Tony Abbott-led Coalition holds a two-party margin of 57-43% – a swing against Labor of about 7%.

Fairfax Media says the two-party gap has blown out from six points to 14 points in just five weeks.

“It shows that Julia Gillard, who seemed to be getting some traction in late February when Labor’s primary vote rose to 34%, is back in disaster territory,” Fairfax says.


Hancock Prospecting secures $3.2 billion deal.


Gina Rinehart has found three equity partners for Hancock Prospecting’s upcoming Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia.

Under the deal, worth about $3.2 billion and expected to be completed within a fortnight, Japanese trading house Marubeni Corporation would buy a 12.5% share of the project, Korean steelmaker POSCO would own 15%, and STX Corporation would take 2.5% via a subsidiary, Roy Hill Holdings.

Hancock would retain the remaining 70%.

The consortium, which has already been cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board, plans to provide $750 million upfront and another $2.4 billion once debt financing has been raised.


Sharemarket opens on a high


The Australian sharemarket opened on a high following positive data from the US and China over the weekend and news of a eurozone deal to boost its firewall against future financial crises.

At the 10.15 AEDT official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.79% to 4369.7 points and the broader All Ordinaries Index increased 0.74% to 4453.0 points.

The resources sector jumped at the opening, with both major miners starting the day in the black.


Huawei still wants a role in the National Broadband Network


The Australian head of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei says there is still a role for the company in Australia, despite being banned from any participation in the national broadband network (NBN).

Huawei Australia chairman John Lord says he agrees with the position that the “central core” of the NBN should never go to any outside company, in the interests of national security.

However, there are still a lot of opportunities in Australia for Huawei to explore, including other aspects of the NBN, he says.


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