Fortescue Jumps Most in Month as Investors Weigh Stake Sales

Billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. jumped the most in a month as iron ore rallied and investors weighed the prospect of the company selling stakes in assets.

Fortescue jumped as much as 15 percent in Sydney trading after a report that Chinese-linked companies had made purchase applications to Australia’s foreign investment regulator. The producer reiterated in March it would consider selling minority stakes in mines, railroads and ports.

The stock trimmed gains after the company said Tuesday it’s not aware of any requests to the Foreign Investment Review Board and is in compliance with its disclosure obligations.

Investors are probably considering whether a Chinese entity may see investments in Fortescue’s assets as a means of helping to prevent further consolidation of seaborne supply, according to Morningstar Inc. analyst Mathew Hodge.

Fortescue, which has joint ventures with companies including Formosa Plastics Group and Baosteel Group Corp., would only sell stakes in assets if it can achieve a fair value, Fortescue’s Chairman and founder Forrest told Bloomberg Television on March 28.

Fortescue, which has $7.4 billion in net debt, sold $2.3 billion of secured bonds in March after halting an earlier, larger offering amid the rout in commodity prices.

Iron ore rose $1.22, or 2.0 percent, to $61.18 a ton on Monday, according to a price index compiled by Metal Bulletin.

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