First State Investments to divest from tobacco

FSI will make no new investment into companies whose primary business is in the manufacture of cigarettes and any current holdings will be fully divested by year end 2019

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First State Investments (FSI) has introduced a formal group-wide policy to exclude investment in manufacturers of cigarettes and tobacco products, effective May 1, 2019.

A spokesperson for the organizations says, “There is no shortage of credible evidence of the wide-reaching harm caused by the tobacco industry from its impacts on health through usage or via the growing and producer supply chains. These views, as well as the activities of health organizations such as the World Health Organization and NGOs focused on the sector have been a major influence on investors globally in implementing tobacco exclusion policies.”

He adds, “While our group-wide exposure to the tobacco sector is very small (less than 1% of assets under our stewardship), we recognise the need to articulate a formal group-wide policy relating to the tobacco sector. As a result, we are introducing this policy with a view to full divestment of current holdings by (or before) the end of 2019.”

The list of companies that are subject to this policy will be published and included in FSI’s annual responsible investment report.

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Date

3 May 2019

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