Republicans Withdraw US$1 Billion From BlackRock Over ESG 

Republican-governed US states have started to withdraw state funds from BlackRock due to the asset manager’s ESG investment policies, according to the Financial Times. Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, and Arkansas will divest over US$1 billion in funds, it said. Louisiana has already removed US$560 million and will pull out a total of US$794 million by the end of this year. South Carolina plans to divest US$200 million from BlackRock by the end of the year, while Utah’s treasurer has withdrawn US$100 million and Arkansas’ treasurer liquidated US$125 million already. Last week, BlackRock defending itself against claims that it was boycotting US energy firms, saying it had invested US$170 billion. Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed a resolution directing the state’s fund managers to invest in a way which “prioritises the highest return on investment” without consideration for ESG; 19 state attorneys general, led by Arizona’s Mark Brnovich, asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to look into BlackRock’s “ties to China”. John Schroder, Louisiana’s State Treasurer, said: “I refuse to spend a penny of Treasury funds with a company that will take food off tables, money out of pockets and jobs away from hardworking Louisianans.” 

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