News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Coal at cheapest since 2009 as CME phases out Appalachia futures; Rinehart loses control of $5B family trust; and Norway's $1.15 trillion wealth fund curbs coal investments.

Lou Caruana

Coal at cheapest since 2009 as CME phases out Appalachia futures

Central Appalachian coal is trading at the lowest prices since November 2009 as cheap gas elbows it out of the power mix, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Coal has dropped 5.6% this month to $US44.50 a tonne as of the middle of the week, the lowest since November 23, 2009, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

CME Group, which owns the exchange, moved last week to delist all contract months after December 2016 because of declining trading volume, Chris Grams, a company spokesman said by phone Wednesday. CME has other coal contracts that will still trade, including for the Illinois Basin and Powder River Basin, Grams said.

Rinehart loses control of $5B family trust

John Hancock, the estranged son of Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart, has won an epic legal battle over control of the family's multibillion-dollar family trust, with his sister and ally Bianca Rinehart appointed trustee, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

On Thursday, NSW Supreme Court Justice Paul Brereton appointed Bianca, 38, trustee of the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust, which was set up by her late grandfather Lang Hancock and is thought to be worth about $5 billion.

Norway's $1.15 trillion wealth fund curbs coal investments

Norway's parliament reached an agreement to ban the country's $US890 billion ($A1.15 trillion) sovereign wealth from investing in companies that base at least 30% of their business on coal or revenue from the fuel, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The decision, backed by all parties, will be announced in the Oslo-based legislature's finance committee on Thursday, according to a statement from the ruling Conservative Party. The ban could include 50 to 75 companies with an investment of Kr35 billion ($5.8 billion) to Kr40 billion, according to an estimate by the Norwegian Finance Minister Siv Jensen.

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