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In Brief: Straits tips coal assets into subsidiary

SHARES in West Perth-based resources company Straits Resources Ltd jumped more than 6 per cent last week after it unveiled a plan to restructure the business and de-merge from its coal-focused Asian subsidiary. The copper and gold miner plans to dual-list its 51 per cent subsidiary, Straits Asia Resources Ltd, on the Australian Securities Exchange and distribute its interest to shareholders. Straits will also transfer its two remaining coal assets in Brunei and Madagascar into the Straits Asia portfolio. “We believe the new corporate structure will underpin the future growth and outlook for both Straits Resources and Straits Asia,” Straits chief executive Milan Jerkovic said in a statement. Investors warmed to the restructure, pushing Straits shares 39 cents, or 6.28 per cent higher, to $6.60 at the close. Mr Jerkovic is expected to become an executive with the separated coal company, while executive director Martin Purvis would remain with Straits. Straits Asia listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in November 2006, with the Sebuku coal project in Indonesia as the company’s flagship operation. The company added to the portfolio through the acquisition of the Jembayan thermal coal project in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, in December. Straits operates the Whim Creek copper operation in Western Australia, the Tritton copper project in New South Wales, as well as the Mount Muro gold mine in Indonesia.

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