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ABP Unloads Wal-Mart Stock

The Netherlands’ biggest pension fund has divested its $147 million stake in the retailer, citing noncompliance with United Nations’ Global Compact principles.

ABP UNLOADS WAL-MART: Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds, The Netherlands’ biggest pension fund, with $300 billion in assets and the third-largest pension fund in the world, said Tuesday that it has divested its $147 million stake in Wal-Mart Stores Inc., citing noncompliance with United Nations’ Global Compact principles. ABP’s investment is more symbolic than anything, since it represents less than one-tenth of one percent, or under 2.5 million shares, of the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant’s 3.42 billion in shares outstanding.

Wal-Mart could not be reached for comment; however, leaders of the Making Change at Wal-Mart campaign seized upon the news, saying, “We’re pleased to see that ABP realizes that Wal-Mart might be saying the right thing about respecting workers but continues to engage in all kinds of bad behavior. This should send a clear message to Wal-Mart and its shareholders: treating workers poorly is bad for business.”

This story first appeared in the January 4, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Wal-Mart stock on Tuesday closed at $60.33, up 57 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.

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