SA drops tobacco investment

The board of Funds SA – a South Australian government-owned corporation that invests more than $18 billion on behalf of the state’s public sector superannuation funds – has agreed to exclude tobacco products from its portfolios wherever possible.

The state’s health minister, Jack Snelling, welcomed the decision, saying it was in line with the state government’s public health objectives and community attitudes towards smoking.

“Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of disease in Australia, and the government needs to continue to play its part in reducing tobacco-related deaths,” he said.

He said the move would reduce Funds SA’s exposure to tobacco producers to 0.04% of its total assets. Its exposure to tobacco manufacturers could not be completely eliminated, as some investments were held through pooled investment vehicles, such as unit trusts, which had exposure to tobacco-related companies.