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Adani downsizes Australian coal mine plan, says it will build without government support

first_imgAdani downsizes Australian coal mine plan, says it will build without government support FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The New York Times:After months of protests over whether Australia should subsidize one of the world’s largest coal mines, the Indian mining giant Adani announced on Thursday that it would scale the project back and finance it itself.The Carmichael mine had been projected to produce 60 million tons a year from the coal-rich Galilee Basin; now the output will start at 10 million tons and rise to 27.5 million, the company said, putting it more in line with other mines in the area.“The project stacks up both environmentally and financially,” said Lucas Dow, Adani Australia’s chief executive. “We will now deliver the jobs and business opportunities we have promised for North Queensland and Central Queensland, all without requiring a cent of Australian taxpayer dollars.” The company had previously asked for a taxpayer-financed loan of a billion Australian dollars, about $730 million.Critics of the plan — and they are legion — said the company was trying to rush ahead and break ground because of polls indicating that the next federal election could be won by the Labor Party, which is likely to oppose the mine. There are still obstacles in place, involving water and other issues, but the company maintains that they are procedural and will soon be resolved.Resistance to the mine remains strong. It has become an environmental cause célèbre across Australia, with legal challenges, protests and celebrities painting “Stop Adani” on their cheeks. The concerns have focused on potential damage to the Great Barrier Reef, because of a port connected to the mine along Australia’s North Queensland coast, and more broadly on coal’s damaging contribution to climate change.More: Adani to proceed with scaled-back version of contentious Australian coal minelast_img read more

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Third-quarter losses wipe out earlier gains for Lithuania’s pension funds

first_imgLithuania’s second and third-pillar pension fund results took a pounding in the third quarter as a result of heavy equity market losses.According to the Bank of Lithuania (BoL), the sector’s regulator, second-pillar nominal losses in the third quarter averaged 4.28%.The five high-risk funds, which can invest up to 100% in equities, posted the highest losses, of 9.27%, followed by the nine medium-risk funds (with equity limits of 50-70%) at 5.36%, and the four low-risk funds (25-30% equity investment) at 1.86%.Only the eight conservative bond funds generated a positive return, of 0.46%. The latest results wiped out the strong growth made earlier in the year by the equity-focused funds, dragging the total year-to-date average down to 0.11%, from 7.55% at the end of the first quarter.Nine-month losses averaged 0.39% for the high-risk funds and 0.27% for the medium-risk ones, compared with gains of 13.28% and 8.52%, respectively, at the end of the first quarter.However, there was a wide variation in performance, with two of the high-risk funds and four of the medium-risk ones making positive returns as of the end of September.The low-risk and conservative funds generated nine-month returns of 0.77% and 0.90%, respectively.Audrius Šilgalis, senior specialist at the financial services and markets analysis division of BoL’s Supervision Service, said: “The sharp decline in stock prices in China’s market and turmoil in the European and global financial markets resulted in the value of a major part of the second-pillar pension funds’ units to decrease in the third quarter.“However, due to a particularly successful beginning of the year, the return on second-pillar pension funds over the nine months of this year is positive.”Over this period, assets continued to grow, by 7.2% to €2bn, due to continuing inflows from contributions.Although the system is voluntary, around 80% of the workforce has signed up.The results for the third-pillar funds were even worse.Third-quarter losses averaged 6.03%, compared with a positive return of 9.16% at the end of March.Losses ranged from 9.34% for the highest equity structures to 4.86% for medium-risk plans and 0.58% for bond/minimal equity funds.For the nine-month period, the three conservative funds generated a small positive average return of 0.66%, while the five high and four medium-risk funds made losses of 1.4% and 0.22%, respectively.Assets over the nine-month period grew by 9.8% to €52.1m, driven by a 13.9% increase in membership.last_img read more

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