Fondo de Ahorro de Panama to exclude Investments related to the Tobacco Industry
Panama | June 1, 2018
The Board of Directors of the Fondo de Ahorro de Panama (“FAP” or “Fund”) looks to the divestment and exclusion of investments in securities related to the tobacco industry, seeking to join the global effort of institutional investors to contribute – through its investment decision-making – to the prevention of health problems caused by smoking. The Fund has taken the necessary measures at its investment policy level in order to reflect this acquired commitment as a global investor.
“Panama – according to the World Health Organization – has the lowest prevalence in the region in the use of tobacco with 3.5% of the population considered smokers, thanks to initiatives promoted by the authorities and certain private sector efforts. Under this consideration, the Fund wishes to have a more active role in the development of investment decisions that focus on environmental, social and governance criteria – known as ‘ESG’ – and considering the ethical impact of such investments on our investment strategy,” said José N. Abbo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the FAP.
Abdiel A. Santiago M., Secretary of the Fund, emphasizes that there is no doubt that divestment and exclusion as part of an investment strategy present challenges. However, he explains that “certain segments of the tobacco industry have been going through structural, legal and market challenges, including achieving sustainable profits.” He emphasizes that “these challenges could directly or indirectly affect the investment performance of these type of companies.”
This is a significant step for the Fund as it aspires to implement, after further analysis, ESG criteria in its investment decision process. Meanwhile, the FAP will continue to monitor other industries and companies that are not aligned with its investment policies.
About the Fondo de Ahorro de Panama
The Fund was created by Law 38 of June 5, 2012, whose main objectives are:
- Establish a long-term savings mechanism for the Panamanian State; and
- Establish a stabilization mechanism in case of a state of emergency (declared by the Cabinet’s Council) and economic slowdowns.