UPDATE 1-Fortescue says unaware of any approach to Australian regulators
* Chinese-linked firms seek nod to invest in Fortescue -report
* Fortescue needs to shore up balance sheet
* Fortescue shares jump 15 pct on Chinese stake speculation (Recasts with Fortescue comments)
By Sonali Paul
MELBOURNE, May 26 (Reuters) - Fortescue Metals Group said on Tuesday it was not aware of any parties seeking permission from Australia's regulators to take a stake in the company, after its shares jumped 15 percent on a media report that Chinese firms had applied to buy a stake.
The Australian Financial Review reported that Chinese-linked companies had sought permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to invest in Fortescue, Australia's third-largest iron ore producer.
"Fortescue is not aware of FIRB applications by third parties and is in compliance with its continuous disclosure obligations," the company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.
Fortescue's shares touched a two-week high of A$2.495 after the report, which said Fortescue had held talks with China's Baosteel and CITIC about a recapitalisation of the company.
One or both had applied to FIRB to proceed with an investment, following discussions with Fortescue that only concerned buying a stake or increasing an existing stake, not a full takeover, the paper cited unnamed sources as saying. Continuación...