Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
ROSS GREENWOOD: It is gone pretty well as a matter of fact. You can see here on the price board right here besides me, the price currently $2.21 and a half, so in other words, the people who picked up the shares at $2.00, in other words the typical families and policyholders of Medibank Private have picked up almost a 10 per cent gain on the opening today. So this has all just happened. The Government also clearly has been the big winner out this. We have had $5.7 billion we are talking about. Let's go to the Finance Minister of Australia Mathias Cormann, the man who sold Medibank Private today. How are you feeling?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Very, very pleased. Very pleased that the market has supported the judgments that we have made about proceeding with the sale of Medibank Private and about the value that was put on it at the end of the process.
ROSS GREENWOOD: And so $5.7 billion that comes from this float, what does the Government do with that money?
MATHIAS CORMANN: We will be reinvesting those proceeds into job creating, productivity enhancing infrastructure as part of our plan to build a stronger, more prosperous economy.
ROSS GREENWOOD: So it is also important that today that this float went well. I mean you don't want to disappoint shareholders, 400,000 of them.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Well the sale proceeds exceeded our expectations. It was important to get the balance right. We obviously wanted to maximise proceeds for taxpayers but we also wanted to ensure that the new owners of Medibank Private, shareholders across Australia, 60 per cent of retail shareholders, we wanted them to have fair value and be happy with having invested in Medibank Private as an important Australian business.
ROSS GREENWOOD: Mathias Cormann, thank you for your time, the Finance Minister of Australia.