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Auckland Airport sale tops foreign investment figures

Friday 19th May 2000

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The sale of North Shore City's 7.14% stake in Auckland International Airport was the biggest single overseas transaction reported by the Overseas Investment Commission for the second half of last year.

The Overseas Investment Commission approved a $1.9 billion worth of net investments in the second half of 1999 up from $0.6 billion in the first half of the year.

The top source of investment was the US, which put in $312 million followed by Australia at $250 million, the commission said in a report to Parliament. Germany sold $121 million worth of New Zealand investments while Japan was a net seller of $38 million.

New Zealand regulations governing foreign investment are liberal by international standards and the Alliance has called for tighter rules.

Of the 155 consents granted the biggest transaction was the purchase of the airport stake by Singapore Changi Airport Enterprise for $87 million.

The other two major transactions were the purchase of forest assets from Ngai Tahu by Blakely Pacific for $40 million and Westpac Banking Corporation paying $34 million for a loan and mortgage portfolio from the Housing Corporation.

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