By Joel Scanlon
The Fortescue Metals Group is now considering a listing on the Hong Kong or Shanghai stock exchanges as per its Chief Executive officer Andrew Forrest. The third largest iron ore mining firm in Australia has decided that it would be the best way to cement ties with steel mills in China.
Mr Forrest said in an interview that they had studied the Shanghai market and Hong Kong market for a long time. He added that they were keeping their iron in the fire there. They had not made any decisions as a board, but they were certainly setting up the opportunity.
It is more likely that the listing would take place in Hong Kong rather than Shanghai as the authorities have not yet followed through on the plan that they announced in 2009 to launch an international board that will allow foreign companies to have yuan denominated shares.
Shang Fulin, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission said that while there was no official time table for turning Shanghai into a global financial center he mentioned that they were closer than ever to launch the international board.
A listing in the Hong Kong stock exchange may turn out to be a risky strategy for the Fortescue Metals Group right now given the state of the market. Last month alone five IPOs in Hong Kong either reduced the offering size or cancelled the listings.