BIGGEST DUTCH PENSIONFUND ABP DIVESTS FROM ISRAELI BANKS
ABP, the biggest pension fund in the Netherlands and among the five biggest in the world, announced in June that it would divest from the Israeli banks Leumi and Hapoalim. ABP had a total of 75 million euros invested in the two banks. According to an ABP spokesperson the location where the banks operate has played a role in the assessment. “We expect companies that operate in areas with increased risk of human rights violations to have a human rights policy”, the spokesperson wrote. BDS NL (docP) has campaigned for this for years. In cooperation with some other Dutch action groups we wrote and spoke to the ABP board. We have written several letters since and published forms so ABP-members could send their own letters. Avaaz had a campaign addressing ABP (among others) that now has over 1.7 million signatures (https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/nl/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_nl/).
We also worked together with trade union ABVA/KABO to put pressure on ABP from inside, they have their own petition as well https://socialisme.nu/israel-druk-op-pensioenfondsen-om-investeringen-te-beeindigen/.
Earlier, in Februari of 2010, ABP decided to divest from the Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit (https://electronicintifada.net/content/scandinavian-financial-institutions-drop-elbit-due-bds-pressure/8685). They do however still have investments in its subsidiary NICE (the cyber branch of the arms industry).
While we of are course very happy about the decision to divest from the two banks, the fact is there are still a lot of companies left in ABP’s portfolio that we think should be on the BDS list and even some that are on the UN list. According to one source ABP is no longer investing in Bezeq Telecom, but according to the ABP website they are, so it’s still in this list.
- ISS (Denmark)
- Heidelberg Cement (Germany)
- Siemens (Germany)
- Alstom SA (France, also on UN list)
- G4S (UK)
- Cement Roadston Holdings (CRH, Ireland)
- Bezeq Telecom (Israel, also on UN list)
- Checkpoint Software Technologies (Israel)
- Matrix IT Ltd (Israel, also on UN list)
- Nice (A subsidiary of Elbit)
- Taro Pharmaceutics (Israel)
- Teva Pharmaceutics (Israel)
- Cemex SAB (Mexico)
- Booking Holdings Inc. (US, also on UN list)
- Caterpillar (US)
- Expedia Group Inc. (US, also on UN list)
- General Electric (US)
- Hewlett Packard (US)
- Intel Corp (US)
- International Business Machines Corp (IBM, (US)
- Motorola (US, also on UN list)
- Proctor & Gamble (US)
- RE/MAX real estate (US)
- Tripadvisor Inc. (US, also on UN list)
- Hyundai Construction Equipment (South Korea)
- Atlas Copco AB (Sweden)
- Indorama Ventures Pcl. (Thailand, also on UN list)