Bay State to Liquidate $54M in Sudan-Related Equities

November 5, 2007 ( - With a bill mandating that the state stop investing in companies supporting the Sudanese government now law, Massachusetts' state pension fund will divest $54 million of holdings in eight companies.

After Governor Deval Patrick signed the divestment bill, Michael Travaglini, executive director of the $50-billion Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, said the eight companies have been targeted by the Sudan Divestment Task Force, a national group organizing divestment campaigns around the country (see  Terrorist Tactics ), the Boston Globe reported.

As a result, the fund will sell its shares in:

  • Alstom
  • China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.,
  • PetroChina,
  • Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd;
  • Lundin Petroleum AB;
  • Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding;
  • Wartsila Corp.; and
  • Weatherford International Inc.

According to the news report, Patrick acknowledged at a bill-signing ceremony the individal measure would have little impact on the Sudanese government. However, “Together with other states and other countries who are making their voices heard and their presence felt, there’s a way of making a profound difference.” Patrick said.

Early estimates about PRIM’s Sudan-related holdings put the total for potential divestment at around $300 million. (See MA Pension Fund Holds $300M in Sudan-linked Companies ).