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The Market and Investors Reactions to Mariana’s and Brumadinho’s Environmental Disasters: Sentimental or Rational Decisions?

Moacir Sancovschi, Adolfo Henrique Coutinho e Silva and José Paulo Cosenza

Journal of Management and Sustainability, 2022, vol. 12, issue 1, 37

Abstract: This research carried out event studies to analyze the reactions of the market and investors in Vale S.A. to the collapses of the Mariana and Brumadinho dams. It also assessed the extent to which the causes attributed to the market reactions to major disasters in previous research has helped to explain the reactions of the market and investors to the collapses of these dams. The analyses have shown that, in the case of the Fundão dam, there was a relevant reduction in the abnormal cumulative returns of common stocks and ADRs at the end of the eleven days of the collapse, despite the fact that the daily abnormal returns were not statistically significant. However, the abnormal trading volumes of these securities in the eleven days after the dam failure were generally negative and all statistically significant. In contrast, concerning the collapse of the Brumadinho dam, the abnormal returns on common stocks and ADRs were negative, relevant, and statistically significant, and, after the eleven days, the losses were considerable. The abnormal trading volumes of the securities were all positive and statistically significant, but the reactions of ADR investors were more intense than those of investors in common stocks. Examining the causal attributions made previously, there are indications that the market and investor reactions to the failures of the two dams were probably derived from the expectation that Vale and the other companies involved would incur severe losses and high contracting costs in political processes that would follow to the disasters, and from the difficulty the investors have had to assess the magnitude of these losses and costs.

Date: 2022
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