Chinese whispers

Fortescue Metals has confirmed recent speculation that it is in talks with Chinese financial leaders.

Fortescue Metals has confirmed recent speculation that it is in talks with Chinese financial leaders over expanding its operations.

It had been reported that Fortescue founder Andrew Forrest was last Friday in talks with the head of China’s sovereign wealth fund Lou Jiwei at the Bo’ao economic forum in China’s Hainan Province.

It is believed the talks were about potential Fortescue expansion in the Pilbara.

“Fortescue confirms these are preliminary and incomplete in nature as the company remains focused on ensuring the successful ramp-up of its current infrastructure platform,” Fortescue company secretary Rod Campbell said in a statement.

According to Campbell, the talks are within the framework of the company’s normal business dealings.

“As part of its usual business activities Fortescue holds discussions with a range of parties in regards to future investment and finance opportunities.”

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan earlier this month approved a $1.2 billion investment deal between Fortescue and Chinese-owned Hunan Valin Iron and Steel.

News of the latest discussions in China sparked a sharp increase in Fortescue’s share price, rising 9% to $2.75.

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