Far from being a competitive market, the same few big players dominate Australia’s corporate landscape. Over the past decades, there has been a major shift in Australian corporate ownership. This quiet change has out a sizable share of Australia’s business world in the hands of multinationals.
The ownership landscape of Australian banks is quite different from the past where Australian banks were owned by the ‘average Australian’ through superannuation and investment funds. The annual reports of most of the large Australian public companies are dominated by names like HSBC, JP Morgan, Citibank, and BNP.
Although the current topic on the lips of the talking-heads is Chinese influence, reality is somewhat difference. There is very significant foreign influence through investment. Currently, U.S. corporations eclipse everyone else in their ability to influence our politics through their investments in Australian stocks.
All four of our big banks are majority-owned by American investors. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s biggest company, is more than sixty percent owned by American-based investors. BHP, commonly called the “the Big Australian”, is seventy-three per cent owned by American-based investors.