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Mass. pension to divest Iranian oil players

The fund may have to sell up to $294 million of securities under the new ban.


August 5, 2010 9:03 by

The $41.3 billion Massachusetts pension fund will have to sell investments in any company involved in Iran’s oil industry under new rules adopted on Wednesday.

Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation requiring the state’s Pension Reserves Investment Management Board to identify all such companies within one year. The board would then have one more year to divest shares of the companies.

A preliminary review found the fund may have to sell up to $294 million of securities under the new ban, spokesman Dave Kibbe said. But he emphasized that the estimate was “very, very” preliminary and a more complete assessment was required under the law.

The pension fund is already prohibited from making investments in tobacco-related companies and those doing business with Sudan.

The move by Massachusetts follows the passage of federal legislation on July 1 which authorized state and local pension funds to divest assets involved in Iran’s oil industry. (Reporting by Aaron Pressman)


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