Kentucky state Treasurer Jonathan Miller last week urged the $14.1 billion Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System and the $14 billion Kentucky Retirement System, both in Frankfort, to divest eight companies with investments in the Darfur region of Sudan. In Nov. 15 letters to KTRS Executive Director Gary Harbin and KRS Executive Director William Hanes, Mr. Miller, a member of the KTRS board of trustees, identified the companies as: Bharat Heavy Electricals, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., Nam Fatt Oil & Natural Gas Co., PECD Berhad, PetroChina Co., Sudan Telecom Co., Tatneft OAO and Videocon Industries Ltd.
They "have demonstrated little or no interest in changing their activities or helping to improve the welfare of the Sudanese people. Because of their close ties to the brutal, unpopular Sudanese regime, they also pose serious long-term investment risks to their shareholders," Mr. Miller said in his letter.
Mr. Miller he intends to introduce a resolution at the Kentucky teachers board meeting Dec. 18 to encourage the plan to "monitor its holdings and stay aware of the research being done by our colleagues to determine if there are other bad-actor companies to add to the list above that should require our divestment."
Neither Mr. Harbin nor Mr. Hanes was available for comment at press time.