Gas stocks left hanging

WHILE the big energy players circle over the liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects on Curtis Island, the Australian Stock Exchange is more concerned with the political wrangling in Canberra.

However, investors are not too concerned according to ABN-AMRO Morgans Gladstone co-manager Geoff Burton, it's more about the delay in approvals for the Curtis Island projects.

“When Shell took over Arrow it was significant, and if Shell do take up BG (British Gas) then that too will have an effect, but it is on overseas markets, so speculation is not affecting us much at all,” Mr Burton said.

“What is more concerning for Gladstone and the projects on Curtis Island is the final approval from the Federal Government.

“And that is all in limbo at the moment – until the political situation is sorted out.''

Mr Burton said the decision on who formed the next government would affect the Australian market, though not as much as people would think.

“If the Coalition gets the nod there will be a bit of a bounce on the markets almost immediately,'' he said.

“The mining resources tax is what's hurt us here. But if Labor wins government then it won't as bad as some people are predicting. But until a decision is made we are in a bit of waiting period.''

Mr Burton said the big miners had to invest billions in long-term projects and any uncertainty did affect their decisions. “Right now we just need a decision on the projects on Curtis Island and that's up to the government.''

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