Pension funds divest from cluster bomb firms

Pension funds divest from cluster bomb firms
Two of Sweden’s public pension funds announced plans on Monday to sell their holdings in companies involved in the manufacturing of cluster bombs.

Both the First and the Third National Pension Funds (AP1 and AP3) are going ahead with the sale following a recommendation from the Ethical Council of the Swedish National Pension Funds.

“The issue concerns inhuman weapons that often injure innocent civilians, an issue that demands action which now has the support of a convention that bans such weapons,” said Carl Rosén, chair of the Ethical Council, in a statement.

In May, Sweden endorsed an international convention banning cluster munitions, prompting many to question whether it was appropriate for the country’s state pension funds to invest in companies that manufactured the weapons.

The Ethical Council ultimately found that the companies contravene the convention and recommended that the First to Fourth Swedish National Pension Funds exclude a number of defence companies from their investment portfolios.

Among the companies to be excluded are several large American defence contractors, including Alliant Techsystems, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, and Raytheon.

Two South Korean firms, Hanwha Corporation and Poongsan, are also included in the ban.