AkademikerPension, Gentofte, Denmark, is excluding China from its investment universe over human rights violations and will divest about 400 million Danish kroner ($64 million) in investments by year-end.
Executives have been debating whether to divest from China for more than a year, said Jens Munch Holst, CEO at the 128 billion kroner pension fund, in an email. "Over that period the situation in China has deteriorated further," he said.
AkademikerPension has developed a new operating model that allows executives to divest "without too much disruption to our internal investment processes. As a result, we took this step (now)," Mr. Holst said.
The pension fund, which until Sept. 1 was known as MP Pension, plans to reinvest the assets by the end of the year, Mr. Holst said in the email. Assets to be divested are split roughly 50/50 between equities and bonds.
"It is well known that the country systematically violates human rights, and we can no longer turn a blind eye to it," Mr. Holst said in a news release.
The news release highlighted China's current security law for Hong Kong, "that over a million Uighurs are in upbringing camps and that China diligently uses the death penalty and persecutes minorities and political opponents," the release said.
The pension fund has now excluded 36 countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran. It revises its list once a year, but the China exclusion was made outside of the regular schedule, Mr. Holst said.