AUSSIE CATTLE SHARES JUMP AS U.S. RANCHERS REEL

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 31) - Share prices in Australia's second biggest cattle company have jumped following the detection of mad cow disease in the United States.

The Australian Agricultural Company is the only local cattle company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has seen a 17 percent increase in share prices since last week's announcement of the discovery of the disease in Washington state.

The business includes 400,000 cattle and 21 cattle stations in Northern Australia.

Chief executive Peter Holmes a'Court is cautious about the share jump, saying the success of the business depends on management.

But he says there are opportunities for the business to make further gains in major markets, like Japan.

"South American will be in there trying very hard to get market share from Americans, as we will be trying to fill any void created," he said.

December 31, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

 

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