Tag archive: Josh Frydenberg

Australia On Track to Deliver $4.1B Economic Surplus in 2019/20

The Federal Government is expected to have the lowest budget deficit in over a decade in the 2018-19 fiscal year, thanks to a surge in commodity prices, mining profits and tax revenue.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Monday that the government is expecting a $4.1 billion surplus in 2019-20, up from the $2.2 billion predicted in May budget. The forecasted deficit for this year has also been lowered from $14.5 billion to $5.2 billion.

“Our economic fundamentals are strong with the unemployment rate down to five percent, economic growth faster than all G7 nations except the United States and our AAA credit rating reaffirmed,” said Frydenberg in a statement.

“The combination of a growing economy with a record number of people in work is helping both sides of the ledger — increasing our revenues, while also decreasing our expenditure.”

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) expected the underlying cash surplus to reach $30.4 billion over the next four years, almost double the 2018-19 Budget estimate.

Global trade tensions remain a risk for Australia in the coming years. The MYEFO said, “The extent to which trade protection measures have contributed to a slowdown in global trade growth in 2018 is unclear. However, trade tensions remain a risk to the global outlook, notwithstanding the recent pause in tariff increases agreed by the United States and China.”

Australia Blocks $13B Bid by Hong Kong Company for Pipeline Operator

The Australian government has rejected a $13 billion bid by Hong Kong-based CK Group for the country’s largest natural gas pipeline operator.

In June, CK Group launched a bid for APA Group, the owner of 15,000 km of gas pipelines across New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he blocked the deal because “it would result in a single foreign company group having sole ownership and control over Australia’s most significant gas-transmission business.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, CK Group confirmed that the acquisition will not proceed.

Frydenberg said the government will continue to welcome foreign investment into the country that is not “contrary to our national interest”.

Two years ago, the Coalition government also blocked CK Group’s bid to take over NSW electricity distributor Ausgrid. However, the group’s $7.4 billion acquisition of power company DUET Group was approved last year.