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Tuesday, 19 August 2003
Page: 18963

Mr Fitzgibbon asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 26 June 2003:

(1) Is he aware that Macquarie Bank has forced a successful Hunter Valley mining company, Nardell Coal Corporation, into liquidation because it did not have foreign exchange currency insurance shortly after this insurance was transferred to the balance sheet of the Macquarie Bank Group.

(2) Is he aware that (a) a mezzanine loan of $10 million was provided by Bond Street Investments, (b) Bond Street Investments charged 23% interest on this loan, (c) an amount of $513,000 was deducted from the loan for payment by Nardell Coal Corporation for foreign exchange option insurance, and (d) that the value of that insurance is $15 million which is almost twice the amount owed to unsecured creditors of Nardell Coal Corporation.

(3) Is he aware that Bond Street Investments is a company that has substantial equity holding by Macquarie Bank's senior directors.

(4) Is he aware that there that there has been a complaint to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) referring to uncontested court evidence in the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission by Macquarie Bank's previous Executive Director and Head of Treasury and Commodities, Ray Hall, suggesting that Macquarie Bank has a second set of books.

Mr Costello (Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) I am aware that Nardell Coal Corporation Pty Limited (`Nardell Coal') is in liquidation.

(2) (a) to (d) No.

(3) No.

(4) Although I am not aware of the specific complaint referred to, I am aware that ASIC is monitoring the liquidation of Nardell Coal, and that it will be determining whether an investigation into the circumstances of the collapse of Nardell Coal is warranted after consideration of the content of any report lodged with ASIC by the liquidator of Nardell Coal.