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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 2677

Mr LYNCH (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - Can the Minister for Minerals and Energy confirm a report, which has just been cabled to Australia, that another United Kingdom stock jobbing firm, Berger and Gosschalk, has announced that it will withdraw from the Australian mining and industrial market as from the close of trading tomorrow? Is he able to confirm that this is the second such firm to quit the Australian market in a month and that there are now only 2 London stock jobbers left handling Australian stocks? Is he aware that the other firm which withdrew, announced at the time that lt is difficult, to see a future in these stocks at the moment'? Is he aware further that stock broking sources in London have informed Australian Associated Press that the latest withdrawal is certainly a result of a lack of turnover in Australian stocks and a lack of confidence in the Australian market? Will he tell the House in specific terms what steps he proposes to take to restore business confidence in this country, which has been shattered so completely since he came into office in his portfolio?

Mr CONNOR - I have no information on the facts relating to the particular firms mentioned by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. I will investigate them. But I would say this: There is a particular inducement because of the restrictions which were imposed some time ago by the British Government on the repatriation of money invested in Australian shares and because of the reserve requirements on investments that were originally imposed. The Australian stock market generally is particularly thin at present and it does not truly reflect the value, either in terms of assets backing or potential, of any of the companies concerned. My advice to the average Australian shareholder, both in the mining industry and in respect of reputable shares, would be to hold on to them, as they are good security, and not to be stampeded by the stupid panic propaganda of the Opposition.

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