FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UC REGENTS VOTE TO DIVEST FROM COMPANIES WITH BUSINESS TIES TO SUDAN GOVERNMENT AND ACTS OF GENOCIDE
The University of California Board of Regents voted today (Mar. 16) to divest from several companies involved in significant business activities that provide revenue to the Sudanese government to continue acts of genocide in Darfur, marking the first major public university in the nation to take such action.
The University of California has taken a principled stand against the tragedy in Sudan by severing its financial connections from those nine companies who aid the genocide and by lending its voice to those calling for peace in the region,” said Gerald L. Parsky, chairman of the board of regents.
The Regents voted to divest all UC shares, including those combined in index funds, of the following nine companies held within separately managed equity portfolios of the University’s pension and endowment funds : Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), Nam Fatt Co. Bhd., Oil & Natural Gas Co. Ltd., PECD Bhd., PetroChina Company Ltd., Sudan Telecom Co. Ltd. (Sudatel), Tatneft OAO, and Videocon Industries Ltd.
The exact dollar amount involved will not be known until the divestment occurs.
The University will also exercise a “voice” option by sending letters of concern about the role of business revenue in contributing to the violence in Darfur to four additional companies – Finmeccanica SPA, Harbin Power Equipment Co. Ltd., Lundin Petroleum AB, and Schlumberger Ltd. The Regents believe that these companies can be persuaded to sever their ties with the Sudanese government.
Today’s vote puts the University on the right side of history, in the position to exercise powerful and practical action to help end the murder, torture and genocide in Darfur,” said Regent Adam Rosenthal, who first presented the divestment issue at the regents’ November 2005 meeting.
The divestment action p rohibits future investment in these companies until such time as there is compelling information that a company has materially improved its operation and is no longer contributing to the suffering in Darfur, or that the situation there has improved to such a point that the ban is no longer thought to be in the best interests of the people of Sudan.
To help protect the Regents’ fiduciary obligations to the health of the UC investments, as a result of making this decision on non-financial criteria, the implementation of the divestment plan is conditioned upon enactment by the California Legislature and the Governor’s approval of legislation to indemnify individual Regents and the University as a whole for all costs and defense of any claim arising from the decision to divest. The University will work with students and community members who support this divestment to seek indemnification. A spot bill to address this element is being introduced by Assemblymember Tim Leslie (R-Roseville).
Divestment would be completed within an 18-month period, commencing once indemnification legislation has been enacted.
Today’s vote follows two months of deliberations by the Regents’ study group charged with identifying criteria for divestment, a list of offending companies and a plan for divesting from them.
Members of the University’s Sudan divestment study group included representatives from the Regents, the Treasurer’s Office, the General Counsel, students from the UC Sudan Divestment Taskforce, faculty, the UC Retirement Plan Advisory Board, the regents’ investment advisory committee and external fund management.
Study group recommendations / Regents’ agenda item on Sudan divestment:
January 2006 press release on Sudan divestment:
# # #
Send comments or questions
about this web site to one of the webmasters