Canada Pension Plan investments support warplane production for the militaries of the United States, Saudi Arabia and China

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: AVIC produces various fighter jets for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force including the Chengdu J-10.

Earlier this month, the Toronto Star reported: “The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has invested $3 million in shares of a company that makes components for Chinese warships, and another $2 million in a company affiliated with a manufacturer of fighter jets and unmanned drones, according to its most recent holdings disclosure.”

That article adds the CPPIB has held more than three million shares in the investment firm AVIC Capital since at least March 2019.

That firm is the largest shareholder in the Aviation Industry Corp. of China that produces fighter jets used by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, including the J-10 fighter jet manufactured by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG), a subsidiary of AVIC.

The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) has also noted that the CPPIB had $9 million invested in BAE Systems in 2015 and $33 million in 2017/18. BAE Systems manufactures the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet.

That fighter jet is used by the air forces of the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy and Oman (and soon Kuwait and Qatar).

It is also used by the Royal Saudi Air Force. In 2011, 24 Typhons were delivered to Saudi Arabia and another 48 were delivered by June 2017. In 2018, it was announced that Saudi Arabia has signed a memorandum of intent to order another 48 Typhoons.

Notably, CPPIB investments in BAE increased after Saudi Arabia began its airstrikes against Yemen in March 2015. The New York Times has reported Saudi airstrikes “have killed thousands of civilians and bombed well over 100 medical facilities.”

Furthermore, in February 2020, Fintel, which “provides advanced research tools for data-driven investors”, posted that the CPPIB has USD $53.7 million in holdings in Lockheed Martin as of December 31, 2019. World Beyond War has also noted that the CPPIB is also invested in Boeing ($50 million) and General Dynamics ($19 million).

Lockheed Martin manufactures the F-35 fighter jet, Boeing makes the F/A-18 and General Dynamics the F-16.

A CPPIB spokesperson has commented: “CPPIB’s objective is to seek a maximum rate of return without undue risk of loss. This singular goal means CPPIB does not screen out individual investments based on social, religious, economic or political criteria.”

The CPPIB, a Canadian government Crown corporation, manages the $497 billion pension fund for more than 20 million contributors and beneficiaries.

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