Hawaii Employees Retirement System, Honolulu, will be required to divest investments held in companies that do business in Sudan or with the Sudanese government, or support it, if a bill sent Friday to Gov. Linda Lingle becomes law. The bill would go into effect on July 1.
It stipulates that the $10.9 billion fund must identify companies in which it has direct holdings in Sudan within 180 days of passage. The fund would then be required to send those companies a written notice to cease their Sudan-related business activities and sell, redeem, divest or withdraw all publicly traded securities of the company within 18 months if the companies do not comply.
If the fund loses at least 50 basis points as the result of divestment in those companies, the fund can stop further divesting.
The fund estimates that $37 million is invested directly in those companies, said David Shimabukuro, administrator with the fund. Mr. Shimabukuro said that the pension board plans to start discussing ways to begin divesting before July.