Super fund invests in Indian nuclear sub company: Greens

DANYA LEVY
Last updated 08:57 22/06/2011
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The New Zealand Superannuation Fund should not be making money by investing in an Indian company building nuclear-armed submarines, the Green Party says.

Figures provided to the Greens show the Super Fund holds 44,595 shares in Larsen and Toubro, a Mumbai-based multinational involved in designing and building a fleet of nuclear-armed submarines for India.

Co-leader Russel Norman said it was "grossly irresponsible" for the Fund to be making money out of nuclear proliferation in a region of the world which was highly unstable.

"Why are the directors of the Super Fund risking our reputation as a responsible member of the world community with this $NZ2.1 million investment?

India was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and was rapidly increasing its nuclear weapons arsenal, he said.

"To profit from the proliferation of their nuclear weapons capability undermines our status as a nuclear free nation and stands completely against the intent of the Treaty.

"We should have nothing to do with investing in this immoral industry."

Larsen and Toubro was India's largest defence engineering company and was partnering with the Indian Navy to manufacture their new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines, Norman said.

"They also hold a contract to develop a missile launcher for the Sagarika - a nuclear-tipped, sub-launched cruise missile."

Opposition to unethical investment by the Greens had already resulted in the Super Fund divesting in tobacco companies and cluster bomb manufacturers.

"And some (but not all) companies involved in the nuclear weapons industry," Norman said.

Larsen and Toubro's website describes it as a $US11.7 billion technology-driven engineering company.

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