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Desjardins mulls energy pipeline divestment

Citing environmental concerns, Desjardins Group (seven million members, $258 billion in assets) temporarily suspended lending for energy pipeline projects this past July and will announce in September whether to make the decision permanent, Thomson Reuters reported.

Desjardins had committed a $145 million loan to the Kinder Morgan Canada Trans Mountain Pipeline, running to Burnaby, BC from Alberta. The decision may have implications for future Desjardin investments in other major Canadian pipelines projects such as TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL.

The move follows that of Dutch lender ING Groep NV, which has a long-standing policy of not funding projects directly related to oil sands. ◊