Australia’s biggest float soars

Shares of Australian rail-freight firm QR National, the country’s biggest float since 1997, rose four per cent in their trading debut yesterday, offering mild hope for a clogged pipeline of more than A$10bn (£6.2bn) worth of floats. QR National, which was wholly-owned by the state of Queensland until it floated a 60 per cent stake, was snapped up by offshore hedge funds and index fund managers to propel it into the ranks of Australia’s top 50 stocks. The firm mainly transports coal from Queensland to ports to be exported to buyers in China.