Illinois' Sudan divestment statute takes effect Saturday, requiring public pension funds in the state to divest 60% of their investments connected with the country. A ruling is still pending on the suit challenging the law that was filed in August in U.S. District Court in Chicago by the National Foreign Trade Council, Washington, according to Daniel O'Flaherty, NFTC vice president.
The $11.9 billion Illinois State Board of Investment, Chicago, has divested all of its Sudan-connected investments, ahead of the law's requirement of 100% divestment by July 27, said William R. Atwood, executive director. The board estimates it sold 55 million shares, with a market value of $223 million, of some 150 companies on its forbidden investment list to comply with the law. Brokerage costs for the sales were an estimated $81,159, and the board spent about another $81,000 in brokerage costs to buy acceptable stocks to replace those sold.