July 29, 2020
Nordea excludes JBS shares because of environment and COVID-19 issues
Nordea Asset Management dropped Brazilian-based JBS SA from its portfolio, excluding shares worth EUR 40 million (~US$46.9 million; EUR 1 = US$1.17) from all its funds in July because of JBS' environment issues and the latter's response to COVID-19, Reuters reported.
Eric Pedersen, head of responsible investments at Nordea said the decision was made to drop JBS after discussions with JBS did not result in a satisfactory conclusion.
Pedersen said Nordea has EUR 215 billion (~US$252.5 billion) under management and has holdings in both Marfig and Minerva, two other major Brazilian meatpackers.
JBS said it will not comment on Nordea's verdict, but they said they were not contacted to produce evidence of transparency in its relations as well as its operations sustainability.
Nordea said the discussion with JBS included the latter's supply chain links to Amazon deforestation, cooperate governance issues, corruption charges and the company's measures to protect its workers from COVID-19.
Pedersen said Nordea's decision was based on all these factors, in addition to recent claims of JBS "laundering" cattle and poorly protecting its workers from the pandemic.
Perdersen also said another issue was JBS did not have an independent board.