University of California regents this afternoon were scheduled to consider divesting pension fund and endowment assets of nine companies doing business in Sudan. The divestment proposal identified 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., according to the agenda of the meeting. The value of the funds' investments in the companies wasn't available.
The Oakland-based university has $43.259 billion in pension assets and $5.52 billion in general endowment assets.
The regents will consider basing implementation of the proposed divestment policy on enactment of California legislation "providing indemnification for ... individual regents, the university, its officers, agents and employees, for all costs and defense of any claim arising from the decision to divest." Divestment of the nine companies would proceed within 18 months after the law was enacted.
The regents are using Institutional Shareholder Services to identify companies with ties to Sudan.
The proposal is based on a regents' decision "to consider divestment of investments in companies doing business in countries with state-sanctioned genocide which has been officially identified by the U.S. government and the regents' findings that the U.S. government has determined that there is ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan."
The regents will also consider contacting management of some other companies its Sudan divestment study group identified "to ask them to ensure that their business operations in Sudan, while providing beneficial effects for the people of Sudan, do not inadvertently contribute to the campaign of genocide," according to the agenda. Those companies weren't named.