Harvard sells some of its Israeli stocks

University's financial management firm denies divestiture effort.

Trader watches the stocks 311 (photo credit: AP)
Trader watches the stocks 311
(photo credit: AP)
NEW YORK – Reports that the Harvard Management Company sold all its holdings in Israeli companies during the second quarter of 2010 are inaccurate, company representatives said on Monday.
The company manages the $26 billion endowment of Harvard University, the largest endowment in higher education.
RELATED:BDS: Nuisance or genuine threat?Former AIPAC president hopes to oversee Iran divestment“The Management Company’s most recent SEC filing details changes in holdings, as is routine, but no change in policy,” spokesman John Longman told The Jerusalem Post. “The university has not divested from Israel. Any suggestion that the university has a policy or plan to divest from Israeli stocks is flatly wrong.”
In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, the company said it had sold $30.5 million in shares of Petah Tikva-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; $1.67m. in those of Ra’annana- based NICE Systems Ltd.; $3.6m. in Tel Aviv-based Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.; $1.1m. in Netanya-based Cellcom Israel Ltd.; and $1.8m. in Rosh Ha’ayin-based Partner Communications Ltd.
Longman refused to comment on the sales of what appeared to be a preponderance of the company’s Israeli stocks, and said there are still endowment funds in blue-andwhite companies.
“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,” he said.
Additionally, Israel “was moved from the MSCI, our benchmark in emerging markets, to the EAFE index in May due to its successful growth,” Longman noted. “Our emerging markets holdings were rebalanced accordingly.”
SEC filings, Longman said, represent a “very small fraction” of Harvard’s investment portfolio.