Showing posts with label Ethical Investment Association of Australasia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ethical Investment Association of Australasia. Show all posts

Thursday, August 9, 2007

This Week's Events and News

Presbyterian Foundation cited for socially responsible investing

According to The Presbyterian News Service, "The Social Investment Forum Foundation listed the Presbyterian Foundation as one of the leading United States foundations using social or environmental screening along with traditional financial analysis as criteria for their investment strategy. Other foundation leaders in social and environmental screening recognized include the United Methodist Foundation and the United Church Foundation."

SEC News and Enforcement Actions

On August 7, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission "filed financial fraud charges against First BanCorp, alleging that former senior management of the NYSE-listed, Puerto Rico-based bank holding company concealed the true nature of more than $4 billion worth of transactions involving "non-conforming" residential mortgages. Non-conforming mortgages have income verification and credit history standards that are generally more flexible than those required for sale or exchange under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs and can constitute 'subprime' mortgages."

On August 3, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced "that a federal jury found Michael J. Pietrzak and Maurice W. Furlong liable for securities fraud and other charges in their operation of Hexagon Consolidated Companies of America, Inc. (HCCA), a development stage mining company headquartered in Reno, Nev. Pietrzak was HCCA's general counsel, CFO, and executive secretary, as well as a director. Furlong was HCCA's chairman, president and CEO."

Also on August 3, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission "charged a London, England resident with insider trading ahead of the July 14, 2006, announcement that San Diego-based Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. would be purchased by two private equity firms."

On August 1, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission "announced that it started distribution of the $267 million Fair Fund created as part of settlements with Qwest Communications International Inc. and several of its former executives. The funds will be distributed to approximately 200,000 investors who purchased Qwest's securities between July 27, 1999, and July 28, 2002."

Also on August 1, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission "filed charges against Silicon Valley semiconductor company Integrated Silicon Solution, Inc. (ISSI) and its former Chief Financial Officer, Gary L. Fischer, alleging that they engaged in a long-running fraudulent scheme to backdate stock option grants."

On July 26, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission "announced that Cardinal Health, Inc., a pharmaceutical distribution company based in Dublin, Ohio, has agreed to pay $35 million to settle charges that it engaged in a nearly four-year long fraudulent revenue and earnings management scheme, as well as other improper accounting and disclosure practices."

Also on July 26, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission "filed a civil fraud action against Robert J. Therrien, former President and CEO of Brooks Automation, Inc., a Massachusetts software company, alleging that he received millions of dollars in undisclosed compensation by fraudulently backdating his exercise of an option to purchase company stock."

City Recycles, but Its Investments Aren't Necessarily Green

According to the Seattle Weekly, "the Seattle City Employees' Retirement System—which maintains an investment portfolio of about $2 billion on behalf of current and former employees—has no criteria for how socially responsible a company must be to receive its financial backing. The city's current policy is to make investments that yield the highest returns with a reasonable amount of risk."

SRI Growing in Australasia

“According to the Ethical Investment Association of Australasia, managed SRI portfolios in Australia grew by a staggering 56 percent in the 2006 financial year, growing from AUD$7.76 billion, to AUD$11.98 billion. Managed mainstream portfolios grew by just 15.5 percent over the same period.”

Ways to Do Your Share

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Many twentysomethings want to do something positive for the world but don't have large sums to give to charitable organizations whose efforts they admire. Beyond giving what you can, though, there are numerous other ways, small and large, that you can reach out to address problems such as poverty and global warming. Consider socially responsible investing (SRI). In selecting stocks, SRI funds typically screen out companies that deal in alcohol and tobacco, or which are deemed undesirable for such things as a record of pollution or worker exploitation. Some funds attempt to use their ownership stakes in various companies to push for social, political or ethical revisions. These funds are increasingly becoming available in 401(k) retirement plans, which is good news for younger workers who may have limited investment resources."

The Diversity Portfolio

The Creative Investment Research, Inc. Diversity Portfolio contains equity investments in some of the largest U.S. companies. These companies have been selected for inclusion because they have outstanding financial and diversity performance. Diversity performance is calculated by reviewing several key measures: Human capital, CEO commitment, and supplier diversity. From 4/7/06 to 8/8/07, the model portfolio returned 18.72% versus an 15.59% return for the market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, a major stock market index (without considering dividends. Returns calculated before fees deducted. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.) See DiversityFund.net for more information...

Angels Descend on Minority Business Enterprises

Investors gather to consider investments in top minority-owned ventures.

Portsmouth, VA (PRWEB) July 17, 2007 -- Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation (VHCDC) continues its pioneering initiatives to facilitate the flow of capital to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) with the announcement of the 2007 MBE Capital Call Conference, Exhibition, and Venture Forum -- September 20 & 21 in Hampton, Virginia. The MBE Capital Call presents entrepreneurs with innovative and marketable business ideas the opportunity to secure capital, and other essential resources, by "Pitching" their business plans to active, accredited investors. This event invites Entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, Investors, aspiring investors, and College/University Students to Hampton, Virginia for a rewarding two day conference aimed at facilitating investment in minority- and women-owned businesses.

VHCDC created the MBE Capital Call to expose and connect MBEs, particularly African-American, Hispanic, and Native American entrepreneurs, to capital (funding) to start and grow or expand their business. This year, twenty-one (21) entrepreneurs will be selected to pitch their business plans to active, accredited investors. A team of active investors and business development professionals will select the presenters from among registrations received thru August 10, 2007. Presenters will be judged on several criteria and may pitch plans for virtually any industry/business sector.

Registration is easy, and there's no additional cost to enter the competition. Business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, investors, lenders, and students may register by visiting the MBE Capital Call website: www.mbecapitalcall.com now for complete details, registration, and terms and conditions.