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ABP divests from Japan’s TEPCO as PGGM sells stake in Israeli banks

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Dutch pension manager ABP has divested from Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the firm responsible for the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, over concerns it has little regard for public safety.

The announcement came as PGGM, the pension manager responsible for assets of healthcare sector fund PFZW, said it would divest from five Israeli banks over their involvement in settlement activities in Palestinian territories.

The €293bn ABP said in a statement it had sold its stake in TEPCO, which at the end of September 2013 was valued at €18m, after attempts to engage with the company failed.

The manager said the Japanese firm violated its responsible investment guidelines during and after the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which saw several explosions occur after it was damaged during the 2011 tsunami.

Separately, the €153bn PGGM said it divested from five Israeli banks after it realised its engagement efforts would be unsuccessful.

The five financial institutions – Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank – had been speaking with the pension manager for a number of years, it said in a statement.

“The dialogue showed, however, that, given the day-to-day reality and domestic legal framework they operate in, the banks have limited to no possibilities to end their involvement in the financing of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories,” it said.

It added that, as no changes to the current environment were predicted for the “foreseeable future”, it decided to divest its holdings at the beginning of the year.

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