Business leaders warn on ADM bid

The incoming coalition government has been warned by business leaders that any effort to block the $3 billion bid by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) for GrainCorp Ltd would discourage future foreign investment, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The bid has faced stiff resistance from growers and some from some political circles, and the timing of the federal government's decision on whether to accept the bid coincides with the earliest days of the coalition government, when investors and offshore businesses will be looking for clues about how the new government will approach foreign investment.

“The government is going to have to go out of its way to make sure the world knows that the policy is being run centrally and is not being run from the margin,” investment banker and former government adviser Mark Johnson told the AFR.

“A pretty enlightened and open policy towards foreign investment is fundamental to that.”

Qantas Airways chairman and former Rio Tinto Ltd chief executive Leigh Clifford said he hoped the new coalition government would lead a “more mature” debate on foreign investment than the previous Labor government, the AFR added.