Mumbai: Anglo American Plc rose 42.49 rand, or 8.4 per cent, to a record high 547.50 rand on the Johannasburg exchange amidst rumours of a possible acquisition bid by Brazilian mining giant Cia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale).
While Anglo American rose to 574.50 rand, its larger rival BHP Billiton Ltd rallied 13.75 rand, or 4.7 per cent, to 305.25, the biggest increase since April.
The mining sector stocks also got a boost following remarks by Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll that sovereign wealth funds from countries like China are shaping up as powerful rivals in the mining sector.
"The sovereign wealth funds of countries like China, like India, like Russia, the Gulf states, Brazil and Singapore are changing the rules of the game," Carroll said in a speech at London's Royal Institute of International Affairs.
"And today the traditional players in natural resources not only have to weigh up each other, but have to be constantly looking over their shoulders at these powerful new or potential entrants into the business," she said.
The China Development Bank had, in February signed a strategic deal with Anglo American to develop mining projects in South Africa.
The Chinese bank funded the acquisition of a 1.1 per cent stake in Anglo American in November 2006 by China Vision Resources Ltd, the investment arm of Chinese billionaire Larry Yung.
Anglo, the world's fourth largest mining group by market capitalisation, had so far not agreed to develop any specific projects with the Chinese after sealing the alliance.
Heavy demand by China for metals has fuelled a boom in commodity prices over the past several years.
China's state-owned aluminium group Chinalco in February teamed up with US Alcoa to buy a 9 per cent stake in mining group Rio Tinto. The $14 billion purchase was also funded by China Development Bank.
Reports said China is also looking to buy a stake in BHP Billiton, which has launched a $170 billion takeover bid for Rio.