Four Dutch pension funds divest from Chinese companies over Xinjiang links

On the 05/25/21 at 7:49AM


Tuba Raqshan

ABP, Pensioenfonds Metaal & Techniek (PMT), Pensioenfonds Detailhandel and SPW have divested their investments in Chinese companies allegedly involved in the oppression of Uyghurs, a minority community in Xinjiang, according to Dutch investigative platform Follow The Money.

Follow the Money, which has been conducting extensive research into the investment policy of the 24 largest Dutch pension funds and their investments in China, revealed that the divestment amounts to €115m. Dutch pension funds still invested heavily in these companies at the end of 2020, when these firms with allegedly links to Xinjiang, evidenced by reports from human rights groups and scientists as well as research by investigative journalists. Follow the Money has been confronting Dutch pension funds with their investments in such “dubious companies”.

PMT, which has an invested capital of €93bn, is one of the largest pension funds in The Netherlands, which has divested from these companies worth €30.7m, flagged by Follow the Money, for allegedly engaging in human rights abuse. The pension funds additionally decided to exclude companies that are owned by a government that is “not democratic or seen as corrupt”. The fund will not invest in Chinese companies where the state holds 10% or more of the shares. Pensioenfonds Detailhandel has divested from three out of the four such companies valued at €13m.

SPW, the pension fund for housing corporations, also had interests in three of these Chinese companies worth €1.8m, which have since been divested. ABP, the largest pension fund in the Netherlands, had €67.5m invested in these companies at the end of 2020. The fund has since informed Follow The Money that they no longer invest in these companies. Follow the Money is planning to launch an extensive study into the investments of Dutch pension funds in China on 22 May.

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