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from the Lexington Herald-Leader:
As China's appetite for coal is booming, American investors and businesses are cashing in.
American pension and mutual fund money is being invested in the Chinese coal industry, which is lucrative but in general has a poor record for pollution and worker safety.
The biggest Chinese coal company is China Shenhua Energy Co. of Beijing, which produces about 170 million tons of coal a year from 21 mines and builds power plants. While about 80 percent of the company's stock is owned by Shenhua Group in Beijing, the rest of its shareholders reads like a who's who of U.S. investors: Fidelity Investments, OppenheimerFunds, Merrill Lynch, even the Teachers Retirement System of Texas.
The performance of Shenhua's Hong Kong-listed shares explains why U.S. investors love Chinese coal. Shenhua gained almost 65 percent from July through September, while Peabody - a favorite of analysts who follow U.S. coal companies - lost more than 3 percent over the same period. Shenhua's initial public offering in Shanghai in September raised $8.9 billion, a record for mainland China....MORE