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Monday, August 16 2010

A Bad Day for the BDS Movement

Harvard Not a good day for supporters of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts against Israel. Harvard University sold its shares in Israeli companies -- apparently not because of any boycotts.

The Harvard Management Company sold $41.5 million in Israeli holdings during the second quarter of this year, but has not yet announced why.

Industry figures told The Media Line that Harvard's decision was likely because Israel was recently reclassified as an MSCI developing country, an upgrade from its "emerging country" status.

“There are some funds which invest only in emerging markets,” continued Heen, the Cellcom CFO. “So Harvard had to sell our stock because Israel is no longer classified as an emerging market and they no longer have the ability to hold this stock within the emerging markets fund.”

“We have seen a real change in the volume of trade since they reclassified us,” he said. “In the longterm this is good news for us because there is now more money that can be invested in Israel, but in the short-term it means we need to work to find new investors.”

So while BDS movement tries to isolate the isolate Israel, the economy instead appears to be going through some welcome growing pains.

I wonder if BDSniks will claim credit for this boycott too:

Israeli Diplomats Boycott Mossad Spies Over Wage Dispute
UPDATE: The Boston Globe quotes this statement from Harvard Management:

The university disclosed in a securities filing Friday that it had rebalanced some of its $26 billion portfolio in the latest quarter. The changes took place after a firm that manages stock indexes shifted Israel out of an emerging country index into a developed country index in May. Israel was moved from the MSCI to the EAFE index, major indexes that institutional investors use as benchmarks . . .

We have holdings in developed markets, including Israel, through outside managers in commingled accounts and indexes, which are not reported in the filing in question."

'Nuff said.



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