UC Berkeley News


UC to shed investments in firms with ties to Sudanese government

| 22 March 2006

The UC Board of Regents voted March 16 to divest its investments in nine companies that do business in Sudan, making UC the first major public university in the U.S. to exercise this option as a means of countering continuing acts of genocide in the country's Darfur region.

"Today's vote puts the university on the right side of history, in the position to exercise powerful and practical action to help end the murder, torture, and genocide in Darfur," said Student Regent Adam Rosenthal, a UC Davis law student who first proposed the divestment at the board's November 2005 meeting.

The regents voted to divest all UC shares, including those combined in index funds, of the following nine companies it holds in UC-managed pension and endowment funds: Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), Nam Fatt Co. Bhd., Oil & Natural Gas Co. Ltd., PECD Bhd., PetroChina Company Ltd., Sudan Telecom Co. Ltd. (Sudatel), Tatneft OAO, and Videocon Industries Ltd. The exact dollar amount involved will not be known until the divestment occurs.

The university will also send letters of concern to four additional companies: Finmeccanica SPA, Harbin Power Equipment Co. Ltd., Lundin Petroleum AB, and Schlumberger Ltd. The regents believe that these companies can be persuaded to sever their ties with the Sudanese government.

Implementation of the divestment plan must be enacted by the California Legislature and approved by the governor; a bill to this effect is being introduced by Assemblymember Tim Leslie (R-Roseville). Divestment would begin once the legislation has been enacted and would be completed within 18 months.

The vote followed two months of deliberations by a regental study group, whose recommendations are online at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/mar06/ff.pdf.