The Swedish bank SEB today announced that they have blacklisted 40 international companies from its actively managed portfolios.
Among the excluded companies are Agrium, PotashCorp, Incitec Pivot and Innophos Holdings. The four companies are all four stock exchange registered companies appearing in the trade of the controversial phosphate rock appearing in the report P for Plunder 2016, published by Western Sahara Resource Watch on 25 April.
SEB is a Swedish financial group for corporate customers, institutions and private individuals with headquarters in Stockholm. Its activities comprise mainly banking services, but SEB also carries out significant life insurance operations.
Later this year, the exclusions will also apply to SEB's index funds.
A large number of institutional investors have blacklisted the four companies due to their contribution to undermining of international law. Agrium, PotashCorp and Incitec Pivot have long term supply contracts with the Moroccan government company that illegally exploits the mine in occupied Western Sahara. Innophos Holdings its sourcing its rock in Louisiana from PotashCorp.
There is an ever increasing legal-financial risk involved in the pillage of the conflict mineral. On 15 June 2017, a court in South Africa is to decide what to do with the case of the bulk vessel NM Cherry Blossom currently detained in the port of Port Elizabeth. The vessel contains 54,000 tonnes of phosphate rock on its way to New Zealand.
Last year, WSRW wrote an overview over other private-public investors internationally having divested from companies operating in occupied Western Sahara in partnership with the Moroccan government.
Morocco has illegally occupied the territory since 1975.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.