7th May 2013.
Bloodhound releases the report Justifying Blood Money,
and demands the Swedish government to investigate
whether Lundin misled shareholders and investors during
1997-2003 regarding its oil concession Block 5A in Sudan
The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority Finansinpsektionen should investigate whether Swedish stock market rules were contravened by Lundin Oil/Petroleum AB’s omissions and communications to shareholders and the market regarding the situation in their Block 5A licence in Sudan during 1997-2003.
During 1997–2003 Swedish oil company Lundin Oil/Petroleum AB developed the Block 5A licence in Sudan, which was located in the midst of a bitterly contested war zone. Satellite images - backed by reports from the ground - show that ca. 160,000 civilians were displaced from their land and homes in Block 5A during this time, while a recent report estimates that 12,000 civilians were killed.
To determine how it was possible for Lundin to conduct its oil exploration activities in such a risky and morally questionable environment, Bloodhound has conducted a detailed investigation of Lundin’s communications to shareholders, investors and the media during 1997-2003. This demonstrates a wide difference between Lundin’s statements on the human rights and security situation in its oil concession compared to that presented by human rights and aid groups, journalists, United Nations special rapporteurs and the Canadian government.
The report finds evidence that the information presented by the company on the situation in Block 5A fell far short of that required by shareholders and investors to properly assess the financial and ethical risks associated with making an investment in an active war zone.
Bloodhound therefore demands the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority Finansinpsektionen to conduct an open investigation into whether Swedish stock market disclosure rules were contravened by Lundin’s omissions and communications regarding the situation in their Block 5A licence in Sudan during 1997-2003.
Shareholders of Lundin are urged to conduct an open investigation into all internal communications within the company, to determine whether they had been misled concerning the conflict and the situation of civilians living in Block 5A while it was being developed by Lundin.
“A secure financial market requires that investors can trust companies to provide them with clear and timely information to guide their investment and governance decisions,” says Bloodhound’s director Phil Clarke. “This information will in turn prevent human rights abuses, as no shareholder wants his or her investments to be tainted with blood money.”
“Good corporate communications and the respect for human rights go hand in hand,” he adds. “I believe that many lives and much misery would have been spared in Sudan if Lundin had properly reported to shareholders about what was happening in its Block 5A concession during 1997-2003.”
A hard copy of Justifying Blood Money was delivered in person to Finansinspektionen on the morning of the 7th May 2013, and three additional copies were delivered to the Head of Surveillance Nordics of the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm Stock Exchange on the morning of the 8th May 2013.