The 10 pm local news had an alarming story about Fidelity Investments, the Boston mutual fund giant, and some of its overseas activities. According to the report, Fidelity still has about half a billion dollars invested in PetroChina and Sinopec -- two Chinese oil companies which are allegedly propping up the Sudan government by helping it export oil. The government in Khartoum and pro-government Arab militias are responsible for genocide/ethnic cleansing/massacres in Darfur and other parts of Sudan, according to human rights groups and the U.S. government.
Harvard made the decision nearly two years to divest from the Chinese oil companies with activities in Sudan. Fidelity did not. Its response to enquiries from the television station were quite cold: These investments were purely business decisions based on maximizing value for shareholders.
My response to this -- as a Fidelity investor who got started with many of Fidelity's international funds while I was still an employee at Harvard through a 403b retirement plan -- is that there is no justification for investing in companies that are contributing to genocide. It's a disgrace.
I tried to determine which Fidelity funds invest in PetroChina and Sinopec, but the Fidelity search engine seemed to leave out a lot of results, based on my comparison with the listing of Fidelity funds on this website that allegedly highlights the company's investments in the two Chinese oil companies.
I also drilled down in the prospectii and annual reports of several overseas funds that Fidelity operates, but these reports only list the top 10 holdings for each fund, and I did not see Sinopec or PetroChina listed.
My next step is to contact Fidelity directly and ask which funds have holdings in the two companies. Those funds will be sold from my portfolio; I will also ask Harvard to remove from the 403b plans it operates with Fidelity any funds which are investing in the Sudanese genocide.
Or should Harvard also divest from Fidelity?