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Australia extends probe of Chinalco Rio deal

Reuters, citing an unidentified source, reported that Australia's Foreign Investment Board will extend its review of top Chinese aluminum maker Chinalco's USD 19.5 billion investments in global miner Rio Tinto. The Foreign Investment Review Board is studying the controversial deal and must make a recommendation to the government on whether it is in the national interest. Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan will make the final decision. The initial 30 day review period ended on the weekend. The extension had been expected given the complexity of the deal, which involves giving Chinalco two board seats and setting up joint ventures. The report added that “FIRB will put an interim order in a government gazette on Monday indicating the review will be extended by 90 days, which would delay a final decision by Swan and hold up a vote by Rio Tinto's shareholders.”

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