On Monday January 14, Van Eck is launching the Market Vectors-Coal ETF (KOL), the first ETF to target the global coal industry. The ETF looks to replicate the price and yield performance of the Stowe Coal Index, which includes companies involved in coal production and transportation and manufacturing of coal equipment based in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and other emerging markets. No other currently traded investment vehicle offers such "pure-play" exposure to global coal use, Van Eck says. Coal is responsible for about 26% of total world energy use.
Surging demand from China and India, and high oil prices make a strong case for investing in global coal consumption, which has grown 27% since 2002, and is expected to increase to 74% by 2030.
In 25 ways to make a profit in 2008, the Sunday Times calls coal the other black gold. It notes the first new coal-powered station in more than 30 years was approved in the UK last week, and China is adding two coal-fired power stations every week. America is also expanding its coal consumption. This should benefit mining groups such as BHP Billiton (BHP), Anglo American (AAUK) and Rio Tinto (RTP), it says.