Owen Walker YESTERDAY Europe’s biggest pension fund, ABP of the Netherlands, plans to ax tobacco and nuclear weapons from its investment portfolio. The €405bn scheme joins a growing list of institutional investors in shunning stocks they deem harmful to the environment and to human health. The industry-wide fund, which manages money on behalf of 2.9m members, said on Thursday it will sell €3.3bn of tobacco and nuclear arms industry holdings in the next year. “Investments in tobacco and nuclear weapons have been a dilemma for us for quite some time,” said Erik van Houwelingen, chairman of the ABP executive committee for investment policy. “Changes in society, also at an international level, were a reason for ABP to put the topic on the agenda again.” He added: “This resulted in ABP’s decision that in addition to the existing exclusions, tobacco and nuclear weapons no longer fit in with our sustainable and responsible investment policy.” Last year Aviva, one of the UK’s largest insurers, divested £1bn in tobacco stocks.
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