China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, will maintain growth of 7 per cent to 9 per cent, underpinning demand for the commodities produced by BHP Billiton, chairman Jac Nasser said yesterday.
"We may not see 10 or 11 or 12 per cent growth but we will see 7, 8, 9 per cent growth," Nasser said at a lunch in Sydney. "The texture of growth may change, in other words, we'll see more domestic spending and less export and capital spending, but the growth is there and I think they've managed this situation extremely well. I'm less confident with the rest of the world."
Continued growth in China, which reported the highest monthly trade surplus in more than two years yesterday as exports reached a record, will help Melbourne-based BHP, which relies on the nation for 25 per cent of its sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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Prices of commodities such as iron ore, copper and coal have climbed on demand from China, boosting profits at mining companies including BHP. The world's largest mining company is estimated to report a record $22.5 billion (Dh82.61 billion) in net income for the year ended June 30, 2011, according to the average of 17 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
BHP rose 3.6 per cent to A$38.40 at the close of trade in Sydney on the Australian stock exchange, extending Tuesday's 1.2 per cent gain. Its shares have dropped 15 per cent this year. China had exports of $175.1 billion in July and imports of $143.6 billion.
Nasser made the comment after Standard and Poor's last week cut US debt rating for the first time, leading to a rout in global equities that wiped $7.8 trillion of market values in the nine days ended on Monday. Europe and North America are BHP's third and fourth biggest markets.
Nasser also said that Australia isn't suffering from the economic challenges of Europe and the US and should feel confident. "I know there is real fear in Australia that we should get engulfed in all this turmoil," he said. "Australians should feel quietly confident about our ability to manage through what is playing out in the northern hemisphere."
Founder Securities surges 50% on debut
Shares of Founder Securities, the Chinese partner of Credit Suisse, surged 50 per cent on its Shanghai debut Wednesday, shrugging off fragile investor sentiment after the market suffered its worst selloff in nine months amid global market turmoil.
Founder, the 19th biggest brokerage in China by assets, raised 5.85 billion yuan (Dh3.33 billion) via an initial public offering in the third-biggest IPO on the mainland market so far this year.
Shares of Founder last traded at 5.86 yuan as of 0135 GMT, after opening at 5.51 yuan and compared with its IPO price of 3.90 yuan.
"We believe the market has reached the bottom after the recent selloff. Our house view is that the market will rebound in the medium term and this will benefit securities firms," said Wang Mingfei, analyst at Orient Securities in Shanghai.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rebounded yesterday, rising 1.4 per cent after suffering its worst three-day sell-off since November.