Thursday, April 14, 2011

Katter's Krude

Well it seems like a decent headline for a sugar posting! In the midst of the debacle of the Cairns Recession asset valuations of a key local industry, sugar, have been going ballistic. This is a chart of Maryborough Sugar Factory, which as part of industry consolidation has most of it's assets here in FNQ. MSF has a large FNQ shareholder base via it's previous merger with Mulgrave Mill although the largest shareholder is a Thai company sitting just below the 20% takeover threshold.
Cairns businessman and solicitor Brett Moller is a director of MSF and has done well out of the escalation of sugar assets in the last year with his personal holding in MSF now worth more than $300k (publically available on director's disclosure). Brett is also a critic of the RBA on interest rates typically displaying why he is a lawyer, and not an economist.

There remains a tale around the manouvres for Tully Mill in recent months which has not been adequately told locally and has some interest. Unlike some, KS is not averse to foreign ownership. The Nationals have recently weighed in on foreign ownership and food security, demanding scrutiny.

Why I am not a participant in current pessimism is that Cairns is well positioned for many global trends, particularly in agriculture. Specifically on sugar, however, this posting at the excellent University based Conversation website should be of interest. Well, no, as most have known for some time the ethanol industry promoted by Mad Bob Katter doesn't stack up so well environmentally or economically and is creating global problems. I doubt however that Mad Bob will ever back down?

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