The Association of U S West Retirees



Telstra Offer Will Grow on Demand From Retail Buyers
By Lyndal McFarland
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, November 13, 2006

SYDNEY -- The Australian government confirmed yesterday it will increase the size of its Telstra Corp. share offer after strong demand from retail investors.

Finance Minister Nick Minchin said a last-minute rush saw Canberra receive more than 320,000 applications for a total of 1.3 billion shares from Australia and New Zealand investors during its two-week retail offer.

Mr. Minchin and investment-bank advisers originally planned to sell 2.15 billion shares in the nation's largest telecommunications company to retail and institutional investors, locking away the remaining two-thirds of Canberra's 51.8% stake in an investment fund.

"The government is extremely pleased with this strong level of support from ordinary retail investors," said Mr. Minchin, who is overseeing the share sale for the government.  "It sets the scene for a successful institutional offer to be conducted this week."

Institutional investors will apply for shares in the third tranche of Telstra, a process called T3 by investment bankers, between Wednesday and Friday.

Canberra had initially planned to sell a total of A$8 billion (US$6.14 billion) of shares, but calculated at Friday's closing price of A$3.92 a share, it has applications for A$9.8 billion of stock, Mr. Minchin said.

A person involved in the T3 process said last week that Canberra could end up raising around A$11 billion through the sale.

Write to Lyndal McFarland at