State Pension System Sells Stock in One Company Doing Business with Iraq and Sudan

Legislation signed into law in 2007 and 2008 requires the State Pension System to stop investing in companies  doing business with Sudan and Iraq.  As reported by Barbara Pash of, the pension system has been very slow to do so.

Two years after the General Assembly enacted a bill with much debate and fanfare that would stop investing state pension funds in companies doing business with Iran and Sudan, the pension system has sold off stock in just one company, Royal Dutch Shell.

The pension system, currently valued at $32.4 billion, sold its holdings in Royal Dutch Shell for $38 million in September.

Over a dozen other companies in the system’s funds have been identified as eligible for divestment, but officials cite a variety of reasons for not selling them. Some companies have voluntarily stopped doing business in Iran and Sudan after being asked to do so by a coalition of pension funds that includes the Maryland system.

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