NZ Super Fund stuff up selldown for today’s carbon policy announcement
15 AUGUST 2017 - The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that as part of the selldown of carbon related investments, readying the NZ Superannuation Fund for the carbon targets just announced this morning, the Fund sold nearly five million shares in New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited – despite the company having already sold its oil and gas reserves, and the share price since rallying as a result of a takeover offer.
“The only thing oil and gas right now at New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited, is its name,” points out Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union. “It appears that driven by political desire to appear ‘low carbon’ these shares have been sold off, and an enormous windfall gain has gone to private investors who sold the same shares 18 days later.”
“Over 18 days, New Zealand taxpayers lost $1,000 an hour on this single transaction. And not a single gram of carbon was saved. If it wasn’t our money, we would laugh at the Fund’s incompetence.”
“This is either very sloppy investment oversight or investment strategy driven by virtue signaling and politics. Either way, it demonstrates precisely why the NZ Super Fund needs to get its head out of politics and focus on managing New Zealanders’ investments competently.”
“In today's media release, the Fund's managers are cutely framing this decision as ‘addressing climate change investment risk’, but the rush to adjust the fund in time for a press release and media outings has seen our money go down the drain.”
"Adrian Orr needs to front up and explain to New Zealanders how this mistake was allowed to happen, and what measures he will take to ensure that his rush for political fashionability doesn’t continue to burn away our cash.”
“The risk with any Government-run investing is that eventually the politics clouds sound business judgment. That is exactly what is happening here."
• NZ Super Fund sold its five million New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited (NZOG) shares at 58 cents on 18 July 2017 (in preparation for today’s low carbon announcement).
• The Fund disregarded (or had not to realised?) that NZOG had disposed of all its previous oil and gas reserve investments – by July 2017 it was effectively a cash box.
• On 4 August 2017, the same fuve million shares were sold for 63 cents.
• The current share price is 68 cents.
Refer to share price and volumes: https://nz.finance.yahoo.com/quote/NZO.NZ/history?p=NZO.NZ