By Will Wade
The world’s largest asset manager had about 4.87 million shares of Peabody Energy Corp. as of Dec. 31, a 5% stake, according to a regulatory filing Friday. That’s down 14% from the end of January 2019, making it the miner’s sixth-largest holder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
BlackRock announced last month that it would put climate change at the heart of its strategy, a plan that includes exiting both debt and equity investments in thermal coal companies in its $1.8 trillion active portfolios. Financial companies around the world are facing increasing pressure to back away from the dirtiest fossil fuel to help fight global warming.
Climate is now a “defining factor” for the global economy, BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink told shareholders in his annual letter.
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On Wednesday, Peabody’s biggest shareholder — activist investor Elliott Management Corp. — moved to increase control over the mining company. Peabody’s shares are down more than 70% in the past year as the coal industry faces waning demand from utilities and slumping prices, and slipped as much as 7.9% Friday.