The Australian dollar has rallied 7% since January. Barron's says it could continue to rise as China's economy stabilizes and metals and oil rebound, providing a tailwind for Australian stocks.
"If you're a fund manager sitting in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Boston, or London, and you're saying, 'Where in the world am I going to put my money?' Australia looks attractive in terms of yield, policy common sense, and low levels of government debt, and you would say, 'I need to have some money in there because it's a relatively good story,' " says Market Economics' Stephen Koukoulas.
Barron's is positive on iShares MSCI Australia ETF (NYSEARCA:EWA), Aberdeen Australia Equity CEF (NYSEMKT:IAF), BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), WisdomTree Australia & New Zealand Debt fund (NYSEARCA:AUNZ), Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), South32 (OTCPK:SHTLF, OTCPK:SOUHY) and Aurizon Holdings (OTC:AZKHY, OTCPK:QRNNF).
A consortium led by China's Baosteel moves closer to acquiring Aquila Resources (AQARF) after rival Mineral Resources Ltd. abandoned plans to make an offer valuing the Australian iron ore miner at A$1.54B (US$1.44B).
Aquila directors urged shareholders to accept a cash offer from Baosteel and Australia's Aurizon Holdings (QRNNF) of A$3.40/share after talks with Mineral Resources collapsed; Aquila's executive chairman and co-founder says he intends to vote his 28.9% stake in favor of their bid.
A takeover by Baosteel, which will own as much as 85% of Aquila if successful, would unlock new iron ore supply for its steel kilns in China.
A China-led takeover of Australian iron ore miner Aquila Resources (AQARF) faces a potential roadblock after rival Mineral Resources Ltd. bought a ~12% chunk of Aquila's shares at a 10% premium to the price offered by China's Baosteel and partner Aurizon Holdings (QRNNF).
The Chinese steelmaker and its Australian partner may now face pressure to raise their bid, and may be wondering whether Mineral Resources is planning its own takeover move on Aquila with an as-yet-undisclosed ally.
Chinese steel company Baosteel says it is teaming with Aurizon Holdings (QRNNF), Australia's largest rail freight hauler, on a joint bid for Aquila Resources (AQARF), which is developing a giant iron ore mine in Western Australia’s mineral-rich Pilbara region.
The bid values Aquila at A$1.4B (US$1.3B); Baosteel has invested in Aquila since 2009 and holds a 20% in the company.
Aquila owns 50% of the $7B-plus West Pilbara iron ore project, which is expected to produce 30M tons of ore for export annually once it opens.