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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

New York State Comptroller DiNapoli: Pension Fund Puts Anti-Israel Movement on Notice

New York State Common Retirement Fund Reviewing Investments for Companies Engaged in Anti-Israel BDS Movement

June 29, 2016

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that he has directed the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) to review its portfolio for any companies involved in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. DiNapoli and the Fund will take appropriate steps to protect investments from any risk posed by companies that are engaged in BDS activities, including restricting or exiting investments.

“Attempts to harm Israel’s economy can put our investments there at risk,” DiNapoli said. “Israel remains an attractive place to invest and we look forward to finding new opportunities there. We’re putting companies engaged in BDS activities on notice that there will be consequences if their anti-Israel activities expose our investments to financial harm.”

The Fund has invested approximately $532 million in Israel-based opportunities and has been considering an appropriate response to the BDS movement since DiNapoli’s visit to Israel in November 2015.

As a global investor, the Fund seeks to invest in a broad range of both developed markets and emerging markets, and Israel offers the best of both worlds: the superior economic management of a developed market, but with emerging market growth characteristics. Despite the numerous geopolitical challenges Israel faces, Israel has exhibited consistent economic strength: an ability to maintain its economic growth during and despite political turmoil. Over the past three decades, this strength has been reflected in Israel’s entrepreneurial and technological revolution, its economic expansion, as well as the performance of its equity markets.

The Fund is currently engaged in a careful risk assessment and review of BDS activity. Companies determined to be engaged in BDS activities may be added to a restricted list that prohibits investment. Any existing Fund investment with a company that participates in the BDS movement will be placed under review that will be resolved through engagement with the company or by termination of the relationship.