Financial firms invest $28 billion in cluster bomb makers - campaigners

Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:33pm GMT
 

One of the largest of these is U.S.-based JP Morgan Chase which invested $1.17 billion, according to the report. JP Morgan officials declined to comment.

Twenty firms named by PAX are from countries which are party to the convention - Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and Britain.

Barclays, one of the British-based firms named in the report, has a policy that "explicitly prohibits financing trade in, or manufacture of, landmines, cluster bombs or any equipment designed to be used as an instrument of torture".

Barclays said in response to the PAX report: "Consistent with our policy, we will decline to support financial propositions relating to companies known to manufacture cluster munitions in violation of the international convention on cluster munitions."

PAX said another British-based firm, Old Mutual, owns or manages shares worth $9 million in Hanwha, a South Korean corporation which makes cluster munitions.

A spokesman for Old Mutual said Hanwha has four separate companies, two of which do not produce munitions.

"We have checked our records and we only see holdings in Hanwha Chemicals which is focused on plastics and batteries and does not produce any munitions," the Old Mutual spokesman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The report also named 84 financial institutions which have put in place policies that end investments in cluster munitions producers, up from 76 in 2014, when PAX published its last report on the issue. (Reporting by Alex Whiting, Editing by Katie Nguyen.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

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