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May 21, 2014
EIRIS Launches Investment Watch for Burma
    by Robert Kropp

After President Obama issues an Executive Order continuing the national emergency in Burma, the EIRIS Conflict Risk Network establishes an Investment Watch for Burma to help investors determine the reporting transparency of companies doing business there.


One year ago, the US government established the Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements, which lifted sanctions on investment but mandated that companies, in particular those in the oil and gas sector, report to the State Department on the impacts of their operations.

This month, President Obama issued an Executive Order continuing the national emergency with respect to Burma, “Because the actions and policies of the Government of Burma continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” As a result of the order, reporting requirements for companies doing business in Burma will be continued for at least another year.

The Conflict Risk Network of the UK- based investment research firm EIRIS announced recently that it has established an Investment Watch for Burma which will help investors identify companies doing business in the country by analyzing corporate responses to reporting requirements.

“The country’s reforms remain fragile and reversible,” EIRIS stated. “Risks to investors remain high – particularly in resource-rich and conflict-ravaged Rakhine and Kachin states. Land confiscation, human rights abuses, inter-ethnic violence and corruption continue to threaten and destroy lives in Burma/Myanmar, and can seriously damage the value of investments in the country.”

“The level of transparency of major corporations in Burma remains unsatisfactory for most institutional investors,” EIRIS Conflict Risk Network Director Kathy Mulvey wrote this week in Investments & Pensions Europe. “Investors need more and better corporate reporting if they are to ensure the risks of doing business in Burma are safely managed and do not come at the expense of social freedoms and justice.”

“The need for information and analysis of corporate activity in Burma/Myanmar has only increased with the lifting of sanctions,” Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President of Calvert Investments, and a member of the Conflict Risk Network's Advisory Board, said. “Those seeking to invest responsibly in the country and those who continue to avoid investment in Burma/Myanmar need research to identify corporate involvement and to assess corporate policies, systems and reporting.”

 

 
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