The South African rand is weakening again, after a downgrade of the country’s sovereign debt ratings that is likely to slow economic growth. That was prompted by growing concern that the management of the economy was being subordinated to the political survival of the president.
A raft of institutional investors from the Church of England to the University of Oxford to the Norwegian government’s pension fund manager (NBIM) have trumpeted decisions to cut their exposure to thermal coal on environmental grounds.
The cynic might suspect the timing has as much to do with the outlook for coal market fundamentals as it does with “responsible” investing. Thermal coal has become less attractive to investors, because prices are lower and the demand outlook is uncertain.