12/05/2013

www.gupta-verlag.de/rubber

CAMBODIA: Bank exits rubber firm: NGO

In a statement released on 3 December 2013, Global Witness says the German banking giant has informed the NGO that it has divested from Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), which operates on economic land concessions in Ratanakkiri province.

"In an email to Global Witness dated 27 November, Deutsche Bank confirmed information that it no longer held any significant stock in HAGL, retaining only ‘minor residual holdings',” the statement says.

Deutsche Bank spokesman Michael West said the bank does not comment on specific transactions but "the small shareholding referred to was through funds managed by a third party on behalf of external investors”.

"Deutsche Bank upholds the highest standards in the area of sustainability,” he wrote in an email.

In its May's report, titled Rubber Barons, Global Witness accuses HAGL of illegally logging outside concession areas and being in possession of at least 47,000 hectares of economic land concessions - almost five times the legal limit.

Despite HAGL claiming it would address these issues, Megan MacInnes, from Global Witness, said last month that little had changed and "logging is still carrying on and the people whose farms were bulldozed are still struggling to feed themselves”.

Rubber Barons says many villagers affected by HAGL's activities had lost their livelihoods without compensation and seen sacred forests destroyed.

Eviction protesters had been victims of intimidation and violence, the report adds.

Source: Daily "The Phom Penh Post", Phom Penh; 3 Dec 2013
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

www.gupta-verlag.de/rubber