Dutch pension giant excludes Wal-Mart and PetroChina

Divestments over non-compliance with Global Compact

ABP Investments, the largest Dutch pension fund and one of the most influential institutional investors in the world, has excluded US retail giant Wal-Mart and Chinese oil company PetroChina.
ABP, the €239bn fund for civil servants, said it has it sold its stakes in the companies and excluded them from its investment universe over their non-compliance with United Nations’ Global Compact principles.
Wal-Mart is excluded because it contravenes international labour standards while PetroChina is blacklisted because of the activities of its parent company CNPC in Sudan and Burma.
The exclusions come despite efforts by the fund to get the companies to change their behaviour, ABP said.

In 2010, fellow Dutch fund Pensioenfonds PNO Media, the €3bn industry-wide media sector scheme, excluded Wal-Mart for similar reasons.

ABP and a group of other investors first raised the issue with Wal-Mart in 2008. In its 2010 ResponsibleInvestment report, the fund said the firm had taken steps in the right direction but added it was in contact with trade unions at the company to “ascertain for ourselves” whether changes were felt by employees in practice.

ABP’s exclusion of PetroChina differs from the Norwegian government’s decision late last year not to follow advice to exclude the company from the Government Pension Fund.

ABP also excluded two other companies over their involvement in the production of controversial weapons: Korea’s Poongsan Holdings Corp. and Israel-based defence firm Ashot Ashkelon.

Five companies that had been excluded over their involvement in cluster bomb manufacture have been re-included. They are General Dynamics, L-3 Communications Holdings, Magellan Aerospace, Valentec Systems and Zodiac Aerospace.
ABP announcement (Dutch)