TIAA-CREF carried out its first divestments over human rights issues in Sudan, selling its holdings in PetroChina, CNPC Hong Kong, China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec), and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. of India, TIAA-CREF announced Jan. 4.
The holdings, all equities, totaled $33.3 million, less than 1% of TIAA-CREF's $121 billion in equities as of Dec. 31, 2008, the latest figures available, according to Abby Aylman Cohen, TIAA-CREF media relations manager.
“Our decision to sell shares in these companies culminated a three-year effort to encourage them to end their ties to Sudan or attempt to end suffering there,” Roger W. Ferguson Jr., TIAA-CREF's president and CEO, said in the statement.
TIAA-CREF stepped up pressure on the four companies and PETRONAS Gas and PETRONAS Dagangan, both of Malaysia, last March and toughened its internal policy to include divestment, Ms. Cohen said. TIAA-CREF owned stock in the companies worth $1.3 million and $435,121, respectively, as of year-end 2008.
“We have not divested from PETRONAS, which has acknowledged our concerns and engaged in dialogue about how it might address them,” Mr. Ferguson said in the statement. TIAA-CREF continues to work with the company on the issue, Ms. Cohen said.
TIAA-CREF owned $18.5 million in PetroChina stock, $848,920 in CNPC, $10.2 million in Sinopec and $3.8 million in Oil & Natural Gas shares. — Barry B. Burr