Demand for Australia's QR National shares strong: Queensland Treasurer

13:38, November 12, 2010      

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Australia's Queensland State Treasurer Andrew Fraser said on Friday, the demand for Australia's largest rail freight company QR National shares had been strong, as the retail offer nears its closing date.

Fraser told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio, he was "completely comfortable" with the level of demand experienced for shares.

He said he believed demand would be led by international institutions but interest from small investors had also been strong, with more than 1 billion AU dollars (0.997 billion U.S. dollars) already booked.

But Queensland opposition treasury spokesman Tim Nicholls said mum and dad investors were staying away from the float.

The retail offer will close at 5pm (local time) on Friday and the institutional offer will close on November 19 ahead of the 5 billion AU dollars (4.987 billion U.S. dollars) initial public offer.QR National is expected to list on the Australian Securities Exchange on November 22, with the state government retaining up to 40 percent of the stock.

The company will be valued at between 6.6 billion AU dollars (6. 58 billion U.S. dollars) and 7.82 billion AU dollars (7.79 billion U.S. dollars).

The QR float will be the largest share market listing since Telstra was privatised in three stages from 1997.

The sell-off is part of the Queensland State Government's asset sales, which have been blamed for its falling popularity.



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