Royals to sell Brazilian forestry shares after criticism

After fierce criticism from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation as well the press, Sweden's royal family has decided to sell its shares in the Brazilian forestry company Aracruz.

The company is accused by the Society for Nature Conservation of damaging the rain forest and ignoring human rights in Brazil.

The Swedish royal family has a private investment firm, Gluonen, which primarily invests in funds. In the portfolio there are also a number of other holdings, such as Aracruz. Gluonen is mostly owned by Crown Princess Victoria and her siblings, Prince Carl Phillip and Princess Madeleine.

According to Gluonen’s managing director and the palace head of finance, Bengt Telland, the holding in Aracruz is worth around 40,000 kronor per shareholder. In a press statement Telland wrote that Gluonen had confidence in Aracruz, which, for the most part, is environmentally approved:

“After the information that has come out over the last few days, the decision has nevertheless been taken to sell the holding.”

Earlier in the week Bengt Telland said that he did not know of the environmental criticism of Aracruz and promised to look into the matter.

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation was satisfied with the reaction from the palace.

“It’s good that the royal family has decided to sell its shares when the problems caused by the company in Brazil became public,” said chairman Mikael Karlsson.

“We interpret that as a sign of the royal family’s interest in the environment and hope that it sends strong signals to the company. We hope that a lot more investors will follow their lead.”

The Local/TT