​Danish pension fund blacklists China, dumping €54m equities, bonds

first_imgDenmark’s AkademikerPension has announced it is excluding all Chinese investments from its portfolio, dropping a total of DKK400m (€53.7m) of government bonds and shares, due to systematic human rights violations in the world’s most populous country.The labour-market pension fund, named MP Pension until the beginning of this month, cited several reasons for the countrywide blacklisting.“AkademikerPension has, among other things, looked at China’s current security law for Hong Kong, that over a million Uighurs are sitting in re-education camps and that China frequently uses the death penalty and persecutes minorities and political opponents,” the fund said in a statement.Jens Munch Holst, chief executive officer of AkademikerPension, said: “We have long had China under observation. It is well known that the country systematically violates human rights, and we can no longer turn a blind eye.” Holst said the pension fund aimed to raise its profile on social responsibility.“Our motto is that return and responsibility must go hand in hand, and when we talk about responsibility, it is difficult to argue that we should keep China in our portfolio,” Holst said.He said the fund’s most important task was to ensure its members got good pensions to live on when they needed it.“But we also take on a social responsibility, and it is in this context that our divestment of China must be seen,” he said.AkademikerPenson said it had previously blacklisted a number of other countries including Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Iran.Last week, the pension fund – which manages DKK128m for its largely education sector members – announced it was placing scandal-hit Australian bank Macquarie back into investment “quarantine” for six months, following new revelations about historical dividend arbitrage practices at the bank.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img