Ireland divests millions from six Israeli companies, report says

Irish government's sovereign wealth fund says will unload holdings in 5 Israeli banks and supermarket chain due to operations in West Bank settlements

The Irish government has pulled millions of euros of investment from several Israeli companies, Yahoo! News reported on Friday.
According to the report, the Irish National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) confirmed that it had made the decision to divest almost three million euros from its global equity portfolio in the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).
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הפגנות תמיכה בפלסטינים בדבלין, אירלנד
הפגנות תמיכה בפלסטינים בדבלין, אירלנד
Pro-Palestinian rally in Dublin, Ireland
(Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)
The decision to divest reportedly encompasses shareholdings valued at a total of 2.95 million euros in six entities: Bank Hapoalim BM, Bank Leumi-le Israel BM, Israel Discount Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd, First International Bank and Rami Levi Chain Stores. Irish Finance Minister Michael McGrath called the move the “correct decision."
“ISIF has determined that the risk profile of these investments is no longer within its investment parameters and that the commercial objectives of these investments can be achieved via other investments. The decision will be implemented as soon as possible over the coming weeks,” he said.
“I am advised ISIF will keep under review the alignment of relevant investments within its investment parameters and commercial objectives.
“While recognising the independence of ISIF in the management of the investment portfolio, I believe this is the correct investment decision in respect of the assets it manages on behalf of the State.”
McGrath announced over the weekend the fund's decision to sell its holdings in companies engaged in certain activities in the "occupied Palestinian territories." The choice to withdraw investments from these companies stems from their mention in the UN database of companies operating in settlements.
The ISIF is managed by the NTMA on behalf of the state and is comprised of discretionary and directed portfolios to support economic activity and employment in Ireland.
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Irish government pulls investments from 5 Israeli banks and supermarket chain
Irish government pulls investments from 5 Israeli banks and supermarket chain
Irish government pulls investments from 5 Israeli banks and supermarket chain
(Photo: Ido Erez, Reuters)
The global investments aim to support liquidity and secure returns for the ISIF with a low-risk approach. By the end of 2022, the ISIF's portfolio was valued at 15 billion euros, with 5.2 billion euros allocated to global investments.
Irish Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik welcomed the decision. “The relentless violence and suffering endured by the people of Gaza demands urgent international attention. It is heartening to see the NTMA taking steps to divest from investments in companies operating in the occupied territories, but this is just the beginning,” she said.
“The scale of destruction witnessed by the people of Gaza is nothing short of horrific. The case for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza becomes even more compelling each day, as the death toll mounts. We are bearing witness to awful devastation, unleashed by the Israeli government upon this civilian population trapped in a small, besieged enclave.”
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