AUSTRALIA: Government Invests in Philip Morris

The New South Wales government has reportedly invested in the owner of the world's biggest tobacco company.

The NSW Treasury has secretly purchased a significant stake in the
owner of Philip Morris, which makes Marlboro and Longbeach cigarettes.

The government has not disclosed the size of its investment in
parent company Altria Group, but documents show it is a top-10 holding
in one of Treasury's two international share portfolios.

NSW Cancer Council chief executive Andrew Penman said the Government should ditch the Altria shares immediately.

"It is highly hypocritical for the government to convey strong
personal health messages while at the same time profit by owning shares
of a multibillion-a-year cigarette company," Dr Penman said.

Altria booked a net profit of more than $14 billion last year and owns seven of the top 20 cigarette brands around the world.

AMP Section Name:Tobacco
  • 106 Money & Politics

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