BNP closes second foodspeculationfund

Asset manager BNP Paribas has suspended its Parvest World Agriculture fund due to controversy over food speculation.

BNP Paribas explains: “As part of our ongoing dialogue with NGOs, we have taken heed of the arguments expressed by Oxfam…Despite the absence of any clear-cut conclusions regarding the relationship between financial instruments and the volatility of food commodity prices, we decided to adopt the precautionary principle and suspend subscriptions to our Parvest World Agriculture fund, which is the most exposed to foodstuffs among our range of funds.”   ... →

Goldman Sachs Nominated for the Public Eye People’s Award 2013

Since 2000, the naming and shaming Public Eye People’s Award has been given to the company with the least corporate social responsibility. The award reminds the corporate world that social and environmental misdeeds have consequences, not only for the affected people and areas, but also for the reputation of the offender.

This year the investment bank Goldman Sachs, among others, has made the short list.   ... →

Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas: Casinos Rather Than Banks?

Deutsche Bank invests only 19% of its resources into loans to the real economy. More than half of its assets are on the hunt for short-term profits every day. This is evidenced through an analysis by FairFin of the financial statements of seven banks active in Belgium. Of the banks researched, only Triodos and, to a lesser extent, Argenta, hold themselves substantially to the traditional role of a bank: using savings to invest in the real economy.   ... →

Shell to invest $1bn a year in Chinese shale gas

Royal Dutch Shell plans to spend at least $1bn a year exploiting China’s potentially vast resources of shale gas.
China is estimated to hold the world’s largest reserves of the unconventional gas – which can be unlocked from ancient shale rocks by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”. This involves blasting a solution of water, sand and various chemicals into the shale bed, two to three kilometres below ground, to fracture the rock and mobilise the gas.   ... →

Local population should benefit from Investments

Today we interviewed Facing Finance partner mr Samuel Mondlane from the Mozambican JA! about their efforts to teach the international mining companies  some true corporate social responsibility. “Investing in development is good, but then the local population should  benefit.” Mine giants like Vale have recently engaged in mining for coal in Mozambique. Not only is this accompanied by side effects such as irreversible environmental damage and human rights abuses – local people being chased of their land -, the economic value is also questionable.   ... →