Many financial institutions invest in a handful of foreign oil companies which help to fund the government of Sudan’s deadly campaign of violence against millions of its citizens. BlackRock does not have a genocide-free investing policy and is one of the world’s largest owners of shares of both PetroChina and Sinopec, two of those oil companies. These investments, while legal, are inconsistent with U.S. sanctions explicitly prohibiting transactions relating to Sudan and Syria’s petroleum industries.

BlackRock and funds it manages:

  • Hold 1,436,797,773 PetroChina shares, representing 6.81% of the class outstanding (10/17/2014). CNPC, PetroChina’s controlling parent, is Sudan’s largest oil business partner, thereby helping fund ongoing government-sponsored genocide and crimes against humanity. CNPC is also Syria’s largest oil business partner, thereby helping fund that government’s mass atrocities.
  • Hold 1,798,284,003 Sinopec shares, representing 7.05% of the class outstanding (11/5/2014), another large oil company in Sudan and Syria with trade revenues helping fund mass attrocities.

BlackRock claims to “factor environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations into their investment decision-making,” to be committed to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment to “better align investors with broader objectives of society,” and to manage social/ethical risks, yet maintain large holdings of PetroChina and Sinopec despite their connection to genocide, an inherent risk factor.

Investors Against Genocide submitted genocide-free investing for voting at the BlackRock corporate shareholder meeting on May 28, 2015.

  • Voting results showed 3.04% in favor of genocide-free investing (3.48% of the yes/no votes). This low result was expected since BlackRock is owned by 88% by other financial institutions.
  • Details on the voting results are filed at the SEC here.
  • Read Eric Cohen’s presentation of the genocide-free investing proposal at the BlackRock shareholder meeting on May 28,2015.
  • The resolved section of the proposal states:

Shareholders request that the Board institute transparent procedures to avoid holding or recommending investments in companies that, in management’s judgment, substantially contribute to genocide or crimes against humanity, the most egregious violation of human rights. 

  • Proxy materials for the shareholder meeting and voting on genocide-free investing on May 28, 2015, including the full text of the proposal and BlackRock’s full statement of opposition as filed at the SEC.
  • Has a genocide-free investing policy
  • Divested from PetroChina
  • Voted for GFI shareholder proposal

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In the News

Are U.S. Investments in Sudan funding genocide?

Institutional Investor
January 11th, 2011

Blood Money on Wall Street

Wall Street Journal
July 9th, 2009