Ethical investing hits Ireland
IRELAND - The National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) is in talks with the government about divesting from certain munitions manufacturing companies. The fund's latest reported holdings in such companies, using the ethical investment lists compiled by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance as a benchmark, amounted to €28m or 0.13% of the €21bn fund.
by Elizabeth Pfeuti 5 March 2008
Adrian O'Donovan, senior manager, NPRF, told Global Pensions: "The country has been working internationally to outlaw the use of cluster bombs so this is a continuation of that.
"We are discussing with the ministry of finance how to remove these companies from the fund's investment portfolio, but details are yet to be finalised."
Colm O'Gorman, executive director, Amnesty International, Irish Section, welcomed the move: "Under Section 19 of the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act 2000, the only criteria for choosing where to invest our money is to ensure the optimal return on the investment.
"While we are pleased to see the government is planning to amend the legislation to end investment in firms that manufacture cluster munitions we believe this is an opportunity to look at the wider ethical considerations of how the Irish people's money is invested."
Elsewhere, Rubicon Investment Consulting released figures showing Irish pension funds had declined a further 1.3% on average over February following a 6.7% fall in January.
Rubicon estimated the total loss to be around 10.5% over the past 12 months.
Von: http://globalpensions.com, 06.03.2008