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ABP expects compensation from Shell

NETHERLANDS – Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, the largest Dutch fund, expects it could receive compensation from Shell following US legal action relating to the oil giant’s overstatement of its reserves.

“We are following the developments,” said a scheme spokesman. “ABP expects that it can rely upon the fact that if a settlement is reached in the US, European investors also will be compensated.”

Several months ago, at a meeting of the pension fund governance foundation SCGOP in the Netherlands, incoming ABP investment chief Roderick Munsters stated that some actions would be taken against Shell if applicable.

The ABP statements have been as two Shell pension funds in the US are in discussions for a financial settlement.

The Shell Provident Fund and Shell Pay Deferral Investment Fund are currently pursuing a class-action suit against the oil company, claiming they suffered financial damage as a result of the overstatement of its crude reserves between 1999 and 2004.

The affair hit Shell’s share price and led to investment losses at the pension funds. The news about the settlement discussions has been reported in Shell’s filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

ABP believes it would be involved if there were any compensation arrangement. In contrast to the American pension funds, the Dutch Shell Pensioenfonds is not involved in a class action against its sponsoring company.

In another action, Pennsylvania’s state pension fund is seeking $67m in compensation. Shell Netherlands spokesman Henk Bonder told IPE that Shell Pensioenfonds is not party in these class actions, as they relate totally to issues concerning US-based share trading.

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