Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fidelity Still Invested in Darfur

Despite the somewhat misleading headline in today's Boston Globe, Fidelity is still heavily invested in companies doing business in Darfur and paying royalties to the corrupt genocidal government.

Boston Globe: Fidelity says it did not divest for Darfur
Firm says decisions based on returns, not pressure by activists

Fidelity filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday that showed its ownership of PetroChina Co. shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange declining from about 4.5 million shares earlier this year to 420,916 as of the end of March, a decrease of more than 90 per cent.

PetroChina is part of a Chinese energy corporation accused by human-rights activists of paying royalties that fund violent campaigns in Sudan's Darfur region. Filings also show Fidelity sold many shares in another Chinese oil firm, Sinopec, that has drawn similar criticism.

Activists praised the sell-off in shares. David Rubenstein, director of a human-rights coalition in Washington, said the sales show Fidelity "appears to be making a genuine effort to financially separate from PetroChina."
Message Board Do you take human-rights issues into account when investing?

But he cautioned it is too soon to tell whether Fidelity fully divested its shares or instead shifted its ownership in ways that its public filings don't yet reflect. For example, Fidelity also owns shares in PetroChina that are traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange. As of October, the last time it reported those holdings, Fidelity was the eighth-largest holder of PetroChina shares on the Hong Kong exchange, with 206,000. Rubinstein called on Fidelity to provide more details of its holdings.

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