Socially Responsible Calvert Group Invests in South Africa

Article excerpt

If you're investing with a conscience these days, so are the money managers at the Calvert Group. And right now, their conscience is taking them to South Africa.

The Calvert Group, a mutual-fund family that invests its shareholders' money in socially and environmentally responsible companies, hasn't been investing in South Africa since 1982 because it opposed apartheid.

In fact, Calvert was the first fund family to deliberately refuse to invest in companies doing business there. But now all that has changed. And, with the election of Nelson Mandela as president last year, the post-apartheid era has opened up some new investing opportunities for this fund family.

"Even though the struggle against apartheid is over, the battle for the future of South Africa still demands the attention of concerned investors and corporations," said Clifton S. Sorrell Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Calvert Group, (800-368-2748).

Aside from the political reasons, Calvert is now investing in South Africa for two other reasons: an increase in the number of U.S. companies doing business there and a growing stock exchange.

The Calvert Group report says that at the end of August 1994, 165 U.S. companies had employees or direct investment in South Africa. That's up 20 percent from the year before. The biggest U.S. corporation there is Sara Lee, with 4,700 employees. Companies entering South Africa for the first time include Apple Computer, Hyatt International and Reebok.

Along with an increase in multinational presence has come a growing global interest in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Volume on that exchange was up 80 percent from 1992 through August 1994. …