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Australia’s sex discrimination commissioner calls for urgent change in mining sector

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A stacker unloads iron ore onto a pile at a mine located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia December 2, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

By Praveen Menon and Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s sex discrimination commissioner has called for urgent changes in the country’s mining industry after a state government report found that sexual harassment and assault were rife in the sector.

The Western Australia parliamentary report on Thursday detailed what it said was horrifying behaviour against women in the mining industry, and recommended sweeping changes including setting up a register of sexual offenders.

“It (the report) is comprehensive and confronting in highlighting both the unacceptable treatment of women and, even more shockingly, the fact that this treatment has until recent times been invisible to employers in the mining industry,” Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins told Reuters in a statement.

Jenkins said the report makes “strong, evidence based recommendations for changes that are urgently required in the mining industry.”

The investigation by Western Australia, home to the bulk of the country’s iron ore sector, was prompted by concerns about a culture of sexism and bullying in the industry.

Australia accounts for about half of the world’s iron ore exports and women have long complained of sexual harassment in so-called “fly in, fly out” mining camps, temporary accommodation set up at remote mines to house workers.

Western Australia’s mining sector employs about 150,000 people and generated A$208 billion ($143 billion) in export revenue in 2020/21.

The Australian federal government said it will look at whether issues raised in the report could be tackled at a national level.

“The Minister will work with the WA State Government, and with the industry, on measures to help end sexual harassment and assault,” the spokesperson for Australia’s Resources Minister Madeleine King said.

The investigation found that state regulators did not accurately and consistently record any data on the extent of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

While state police investigated 23 reports of sexual assaults on mine sites over the last 2 years, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) reported it had only received 22 reports in seven years.

“It is difficult to believe the regulator could have accepted this level of reporting as reflecting the true situation on the ground,” the enquiry noted.

In response to questions addressed to DMIRS, the WorkSafe Commissioner Darren Kavanagh told Reuters that he was examining the enquiry’s recommendations prior to advising the government on the next course of action.

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Bankman-Fried’s FTX internally mulling Robinhood deal – Bloomberg News

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© Reuters. The logo of Robinhood Markets, Inc. is seen at a pop-up event on Wall Street after the company’s IPO in New York City, U.S., July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) -Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange is exploring whether it might be able to acquire Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ:HOOD), Bloomberg News reported https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-27/sam-bankman-fried-s-ftx-seeking-to-buy-robinhood-hood on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

FTX is discussing internally how to buy the app-based brokerage and Robinhood has not received a formal takeover approach, the report said.

Robinhood, shares in which rose 14% in afternoon trading, declined to comment. The company has a market capitalization of nearly $7 billion as of Friday’s closing price.

FTX did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Last month, Bankman-Fried had revealed a 7.6% stake in Robinhood but said he did not have any intention of taking control of the retail-trading platform. Robinhood’s dual-class shares currently give its founders control of 64% of the voting shares outstanding.

Trading volumes at the brokerage have eased from last year’s frenetic pace when retail investors used the platform to pump money into shares of so-called meme stocks including GameStop (NYSE:GME) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC).

That, along with a sell-off in high-growth technology stocks, has driven a near 50% drop in Robinhood shares this year.

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FTX Said Exploring Potential Robinhood Acquisition, News Seen as ‘Positive’

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FTX Said Exploring Potential Robinhood (HOOD) Acquisition, News Seen as ‘Positive’

By Sam Boughedda

FTX, the crypto exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, is said to be exploring the possibility of whether it could acquire Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ:HOOD).

Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter, said FTX is speaking internally about how it could buy the app-based, primarily stock brokerage. However, they have made no takeover approach, and no final decision has been made.

Bloomberg said Bankman-Fried wrote in an emailed statement that they are “excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them,” but there are “no active M&A conversations with Robinhood.”

In May, a company Bankman-Fried controls, Emergent Fidelity Technologies revealed it had acquired a 7.6% stake in Robinhood.

During the pandemic, Robinhood thrived as retail investors and traders flooded its platform. However, it has struggled since, and its shares are down significantly since its debut in 2021.

Nevertheless, today’s report has resulted in a 17% jump in its stock price.

Mizuho analyst Dan Dolev sees the potential deal news as good news for Robinhood, but also said the company can make it on its own.

“We believe that a potential deal would be good news for HOOD as it helps expand its reach and breadth,” Dolev said. “We also believe that HOOD can survive, and thrive on its own.” He rates the shares a Buy with a $14 price target.

Earlier in the day, Goldman Sachs analyst Will Nance upgraded Robinhood from Sell to Neutral with a price target of $9.50. The analyst notes are now trading at an ~$6.5bn market cap versus its cash position of ~$6.2bn and tangible book value of ~$7bn. Further, the rising interest rates should significant acceleration net interest income over the next several quarters and help reduce Robinhood’s losses.

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Bankman-Fried’s FTX seeking path to buy Robinhood – Bloomberg News

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© Reuters. The logo of Robinhood Markets, Inc. is seen at a pop-up event on Wall Street after the company’s IPO in New York City, U.S., July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) – Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange is exploring whether it might be able to acquire Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ:HOOD), Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

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