China Investment Corp (CIC), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, and mining group China Shenhua are thought to be in talks regarding the purchase of a 15.85% stake in Fortescue Metals, the Financial Times reported. Shares in the Australian iron ore group rose 14% on Monday as the rumors broke, prompting the company to confirm that it is negotiating with potential investors. Fortescue wouldn’t reveal the names of these investors but it did admit to having held talks in the past with groups from a variety of countries, including China. Beijing has developed a fevered interest in Australian commodities recently, with Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) and US aluminum producer Alcoa investing in Rio Tinto and Sinosteel increasing its stake in Midwest Corporation and then submitting a takeover bid. Fortescue already sells iron ore to China’s top 10 steelmakers.
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