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Australia's treasurer Joe Hockey has given a conditional approval for State Grid Corporation of China's acquisition of Australian electricity and gas distribution assets

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(Credit: Reuters) This photo shows Australia's opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey answering questions during a Reuters' interview at his electorate office in North Sydney.Joe Hockey
December 19
9:16 PM 2013

Australian treasurer Joe Hockey has conditionally approved a foreign investment proposal from State Grid Corporation of China (State Grid), according to Business Spectator.

The Chinese firm received a green light to acquire a 19.9%$ stake in SP AusNet. The state corporation will also acquire a 60% stake in SPI Assets Pty Limited and SPI Trust (Jemena), the report stated.

Hockey said in a statement that the approval is based on the condition that at least 50% of State Grid's appointed SP AusNet and Jemena board members are citizens and residents of Australia. The acquisition will grans State Grid control of the electricity network in Melbourne and gas distribution grid in the New South Wales. This is on top of the gas pipeline that runs from Bass Strait to Sydney, the report detailed.

State Grid is the largest electric utility in the world. The Chinese corporation ranks seventh in the Fortune Global 500, Business Spectator reported.

Hockey said: "Australia is open for business and we welcome foreign investment when it is not contrary to the national interest."

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