Major industry super fund Hostplus has confirmed rumours that it invests in weapons traded to Saudi Arabia, despite a poll by SumOfUs finding that 63 per cent of Australians are uncomfortable with their super funds investing in arms trading with the state.
The super fund’s investment manager IFM Investors held a position in Electro Optic Systems, which had a $400 million deal to supply high-tech weaponry to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The investment came as several governments moved to suspect their arms deals with the Saudi state, following a United Nations investigation that accused the Saudi-led coalition of running an indiscriminate bombing campaign in Yemen targeting civilians.
The SumOfUs poll also found that 60 per cent of Australians would consider switching super funds as a result of their fund engaging in arms trading with Saudi Arabia, with over 10,000 Australians also signing a petition calling on the Morrison Government to suspect the Saudi Arms Deal.
"Over a million Australians invest their retirement savings with Hostplus. That means one million Australians are unwittingly helping arm a regime that has an atrocious disregard for human rights,” Nick Haines, senior campaigner at SumOfUs, said.
“Hostplus and other super funds that continue to hold investments in EOS profit from deals with the Saudi-led coalition, which brutally bombs schools and murders children in Yemen.”