Missouri Fund Sacks Paribas Capital for UN Connection

February 7, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The state of Missouri on Monday fired Paribas Capital as an approved broker-dealer for its $2.9 billion pension fund because of its French parent's role in the Iraq oil-for-food scandal.

The parent, BNP Paribas, helped administer the United Nations’ now defunct $69 billion program, which allowed the government of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to sell oil in order to buy humanitarian goods, Reuters reported.

Missouri‘s state treasurer investment committee on Friday voted 5-0 to remove Paribas Capital as one of nine primary dealers through which the state placed short-term investments, according to the Reuters report. Mark Hughes, a spokesman for state treasurer Sarah Steelman, told Reuters that Paribas was the state’s largest broker-dealer for short-term investments, with $185 million in open accounts in December.

In announcing plans to remove Paribas, Steelman, a Republican who took office last month, also noted the bank has a presence in Iran, and is among the non-U.S. banks attempting to arrange about $50 billion in corporate loans there.