New Delhi: France-based Amundi, which is one of the largest investors in India’s State Bank of India (SBI), threatened to sell off SBI green bonds held by it unless it stops its scheduled Rs 5,000 crore loan to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Australia.
“We consider SBI should not finance this project. Ultimately it’s their decision but we’ve been extremely clear on the fact that if they decide to do it, we would immediately disinvest,” Director of the Institutional Corporate Clients Division & ESG, Jean Jacques Barberis, was quoted as saying by a global wire service.
“Financing the mine would be in “total contradiction” to the SBI activities financed through its green bond, he added.
“We have engaged SBI asking them not to participate (in the loan) and now we are waiting for their answer”, he was quoted as saying.
Amundi, which holds the SBI green bonds as part of its Amundi Planet Green Emerging Fund, said it learnt recently that the public lender is slated to fund the controversial coal mine project in Australia.
Adani’s billion-dollar Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland, Australia, has been the centre of many controversies ever since its inception as activists owing to environmental problems posed by it.
The development comes within days of Samsung Securities, the investment arm of South Korean conglomerate, announcement that it won’t back the project after it was targetted by protesters for having links to the coal miner.
Earlier this week, the first One-Day International (ODI) match between India and Australia in Sydney was halted briefly after two protesters appeared on the field holding placards against SBI and Adani Carmichael coal mine project.
Six overs into Australia’s innings, protestors walked to the center of the ground holding placards which read ‘No $1b Adani loan’ signs.
Protesters were wearing a t-shirt which read slogans such as “#StopAdani”, “Stop Coal” and “#StopAdani”. Several anti-Adani protesters also gathered outside the Sydney Cricket Ground.