Bowing to pressure from activists trying to get companies to remove their investments in the Darfur region, Fidelity Investments has 91% of its holdings in PetroChina, which invests in government-owned oil exploration in Sudan, the Associated Press reports, citing a regulatory filing.
Fidelity held 420,916 American depository receipts worth $49 million in the oil firm as of March 31, down from 4.499 million worth $634 million at the end of 2006.
Fidelity spokesman Vin Loporchio declined to say whether the company had sold its shares in the oil company due to pressure from activists concerned over the well-being of people in Darfur. “We don’t as a general practice discuss individual securities or our buying or selling,” he said. “Each individual fund manager makes investment decisions based on their own assessment of each company.”
But David Rubenstein, executive director of the Save Darfur Coalition, believes the fund giant bowed to the group’s pressure. “Following months of pressure by activists, Fidelity now appears to be taking steps to divest their significant PetroChina holdings,” Rubenstein said. “While questions remain about Fidelity’s Hong Kong holdings, a matter Fidelity must publicly resolve, the company appears to be making a genuine effort to financially separate from PetroChina.”