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December 27th, 2011:

New tobacco tax to help smokers quit


Health Bureau director Lei Chin Ion was yesterday at the Horta da Mitramarket distributing signs to be posted at all locations where the smoking ban will be enacted

Starting today smokers will pay at least MOP 6 more per cigarette pack, as the new tobacco tax duty comes into effect. The tax rise will encourage smokers to quit, the Health Services Bureau (SSM) assured, while vowing to continue increasing the tax in the future.
According to the law approved last week, the tobacco tax will increase by MOP 0.5 for each cigarette, in order to be in line with the ban on smoking in public places that comes into effect from January 1.
Taxes on tobacco in Macau will be MOP 10, around 38 per cent of the retail price, which is still a far cry from Hong Kong prices, where one pack costs MOP 50, MOP 35 of which are taxes.
For this reason lawmakers and smoking prevention associations said the increase was too low.
The SSM disagrees: “There are several steps to encourage smokers to quit. One of them is to increase the tobacco tax,” they said in a statement.
Other measures include restrictions on the sale of tobacco and a ban on tobacco vending machines. Tobacco brands and producers will also no longer be allowed to advertise, sponsor public events or launch promotional campaigns.
The bureau also pledged to boost its stop-smoking service, as well as to enhance promotional awareness and the enforcement of the anti-smoking law.

Price benefits

The SSM released figures that show that more than 200 persons quit smoking every year after the tobacco tax rise from MOP 1 to MOP 4 was implemented in May 2009. After this increase the number of smokers that ditched tobacco increased from 194 in 2008 to 223 the following year.
In 2010 the number of individuals undergoing the stop-smoking treatment amounted to 421. So far there were 1,272 people who resorted to this service and more than a third (36 per cent) have managed to stay away from tobacco for at least six months in a row.
Most of the people who seek help are men between 50 and 59 years old. Only 12 per cent of the stop-smoking service users are women.
“Most of those who fail to quit do so because they don’t have a strong will to stop smoking. Some smokers are influenced by friends and a small number continue smoking because of stress at work,” the bureau said.
The first stop-smoking service was created in November 2006 at the northern district’s health centre and is currently available in all public health centres.
Media reports showed that vendors increased the tobacco price last week, even before the law was approved. Shopkeepers’ claim sales dropped by one third since the announcement of the increase in tobacco tax.

No rush

“We have received information of some complaints” about tobacco prices, SSM director Lei Chin Ion confirmed to Macau Daily Times. If people notice there are unlawful practices they should report the case to the Economic Services Bureau, he added.
Lawmakers also asked the government to introduce stricter rules for duty-free cigarettes, claiming that people were likely to start buying tobacco in mainland China where it is much cheaper.
Both visitors and locals are allowed to enter Macau with as many as 10 packs of tobacco, while in Hong Kong it’s forbidden to enter with more than 19 cigarettes.
But Lei Chin Ion said so far there was no sign of any rush to buy tobacco in mainland China. “We have kept in touch with Zhuhaiauthorities and they say no increase in the sale of tobacco products was registered,” he said.
Also starting next month, smoking will be prohibited indoors and in some other public places. Only casinos and bars will enjoy a grace period of one and three years, respectively.

The SSM director was yesterday at the Horta da Mitra market distributing official signs that must be posted in all locations where the ban will be enacted.

Sale of cigarettes fell by 17% until November

Sale of cigarettes fell by 17% until November

GroundReport – 11 hours ago

According to recent data published by the Commissioner for the Tobacco Market in value, the sale of cigarettes to November stood at 10357.8 million euros, 

Pack of Marlboros 78 cents – in Senegal

Ninemsn – 9 hours ago

Listab, which groups some 15 anti-smoking bodies, has said it will ask the government to force the tobacco giant to reverse the decision and has not ruled






Government Investment Funds Amendment (Ethical Investments) Bill 2011


(Circulated by authority of Senators R Di Natale and S Ludlam)



The Government Investment Funds Amendment (Ethical Investments) Bill 2011

is being introduced in order to constrain the investments of government

investment funds, namely those created by the Future Fund Act 2006 and the

Nation-building Funds Act 2008, to those investments which are consistent

with socially responsible investment practices.

The Australian Government is currently pursuing reforms such as the passage

and implementation of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 which are in

accordance with Australia’s accession to the World Health Organisation

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. At the same time, hundreds of

millions of dollars of public funds are invested in tobacco companies as

part of the holdings of the Future Fund. The proposed Bill will proscribe

investments by the funds in companies involved in the manufacture of

tobacco, cluster munitions, nuclear arms and other entities to be

proscribed under Ethical Investment Guidelines.

Socially responsible or ethical investment guidelines are guidelines which

examine the ramifications of an investment beyond the financial returns,

such as the impacts on the environment, the rights of those employed by the

various enterprises, impacts on human health or potential effect on peace

and stability. Around the world there are various examples of such

guidelines, including superannuation funds and sovereign wealth funds such

as the Norwegian government pension fund. The proposed Bill requires the

Ministers responsible for Australian sovereign funds to develop Ethical

Investment Guidelines for each fund and directs the Future Fund Board to

have regard to these guidelines when making investment policies.


Clause 1 – Short Title

1. This is a formal provision specifying the short title.

Clause 2 – Commencement

2. This clause provides, in a table, that sections 1-3 of the Act will

commence the day the Act receives Royal Assent. The table also provides

that Schedule 1 to the Act commences on a day fixed by Proclamation, or

no later than 6 months after the Act receives Royal Assent.

Clause 3 – Schedules

3. This clause provides that an Act that is specified in a Schedule is

amended or repealed as set out in that Schedule, and any other item in a

Schedule operates according to its terms.

Schedule 1 – Amendments of Future Fund Act 2006 and Nation-building Funds

Act 2008

Item 1

This item provides for the outline of the Future Fund Act 2006 to make

reference to the Future Fund Ethical Guidelines.

Item 2

This item amends section 5 of the Act to insert a definition of Future Fund

Ethical Investment Guidelines.

Item 3

This item amends Section 5 of the Act to insert a clause that defines a

prohibited financial asset with reference to the Future Fund Ethical


Item 4

This item alters the outline of Part 3 of the Act to make reference to the

Future Fund Ethical Guidelines.

Item 5

This item amends subsection of 16(1) of the Act to exclude prohibited

financial assets from the assets the Board may invest in.

Item 6

This item amends subsection 18(11) of the Act to make reference to the

Future Fund Ethical Investment Guidelines, and the Board having regard to

the Guidelines.

Item 7

This item inserts three new sections, 20A, 20B and 20C into the Act.

Section 20A requires the responsible Ministers to create, by legislative

instrument, the Future Fund Ethical Investment Guidelines. Subsection

20A(2)(a) requires the Guidelines to specify which assets are prohibited

financial assets. Subsection 20A(2)(b) permits the Guidelines to make

provision for socially responsible ethical investment practices. These are

anticipated to include, but not be limited to, environmental concerns,

human rights concerns, responsible labour practices, profit from conflict

or the manufacture of weapons of war, in line with global best practice and

in line with Guidelines adopted by other investment funds including

sovereign wealth funds.

Subsection 20A(3) requires the Guidelines to prohibit, in particular,

investments in:

a) A body corporate that manufactures tobacco products

b) A body corporate that produces components for cluster munitions

c) A body corporate that produces, maintains or simulates nuclear


Section 20B requires that, before making or varying the Future Fund Ethical

Investment Guidelines, the responsible Ministers must consult with the

Future Fund Board of Guardians. Subsection 20B(1) requires the Ministers to

invite the Board to make a submission to the Ministers, upon provision by

them of draft Guidelines or a variation thereof, within a time period

specified by the Ministers. New subsection 20B(2) specifies that, if the

Board receives a draft and makes a submission under subsection  20B(1) that

the submission must be tabled in each House of Parliament along with the

legislative instrument.

New section 20C sets out procedures for ensuring compliance with the

Ethical Investment Guidelines. New Subsection 20C(1) directs the Board to

take all reasonable steps to comply with the Guidelines. Subsection 20C(2)

obliges the Board to notify the responsible Ministers when it becomes aware

of a failure to comply with the Guidelines, and to specify remedial action.

Subsection 20C(3) provides for the responsible Ministers to direct the

Board, in writing and within a period specified by the Ministers, to

provide a written explanation of a failure to comply with the Guidelines

and to take specified remedial action in order to comply with the

Guidelines. Subsection 20C(6) specifies that such directions do not

constitute a legislative instrument under the Legislative Instruments Act

2003 and are therefore not disallowable by the Parliament. This statement

is merely declaratory of the law, in that such instruments are not

legislative in nature, and does not constitute a substantive exemption from

that Act.

Item 8

This item alters section 24(2) of the Act to make reference to the Future

Fund Ethical Investment Guidelines with regard to the Board’s written

investment policies.

Item 9

This item alters section 24(6) of the Act to make reference to the Future

Fund Ethical Investment Guidelines with regard to the Board reviewing the

investment policies upon a change of either the Investment Mandate or

Ethical Investment Guidelines.

Item 10

This item amends subclause 7(1) of Schedule 1 of the Act to insert a clause

prohibiting the Minister from authorising the acceptance of a gift that is

a prohibited financial asset.

Items 11 to 40

These items create, for each of the Funds described in the Nation-building

Funds Act 2008, sections that govern the definition and operation of

Ethical Investment Guidelines a manner identical to earlier sections

regarding the Future Fund in the Future Fund Act 2006.

Items 41 to 44

These items insert sections into the Act that, for each of the four funds,

direct the Future Fund Board to realise any assets held on the day the

Schedule commences, within a period of 12 months from the commencement of

the Schedule, if the assets are prohibited assets as defined in the

relevant Schedule.

Download PDF : gifaib2011624

Responsible Investor

NZ Super Fund facing questions over stake in tobacco-linked Chinese

Holding revealed by Finance Minister contravenes tobacco investment policy

by Daniel Brooksbank | August 12th, 2011

The NZ$19.2bn (€11.2bn) New Zealand Superannuation Fund has faced questions
in Parliament over its stake in tobacco producer Shanghai International
Holdings Ltd. (SIHL), the Hong Kong-listed conglomerate.

Finance Minister Bill English, in a written answer to a question from the
Green Party, disclosed that the fund holds 80,000 shares worth some
NZ$333,000 in SIHL, whose subsidiary Nanyang Brothers Tobacco Co. Ltd. is
the largest tobacco manufacturer in Hong Kong.

In a statement cited by local media, the fund – which has had a tobacco
exclusion policy since 2007 – explained said it had categorised SIHL as an
industrial conglomerate and thus it was not captured in its exclusion
screening process.

Norway’s Government Pension Fund excluded SIHL in March this year over its
tobacco operations.

NZ Super, a founding signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible
Investment, said it recently broadened its screening methodology to resolve
the problem, which has resulted in more companies joining its tobacco
exclusions list.

“Pending circulation to our external investment managers, the expanded list
will be available on the Fund’s website – as the current list has been since
2007 – by 30 August. The list will include Shanghai Industrial Holdings
Ltd,” it said.

Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman called the management of the fund on ethical
investment “complacent and unprofessional”.

He added: “The Fund continues to invest in and profit from firms that
produce nuclear weapons, sell weapons to Burma, violate human rights, and
cause severe environmental damage.”

Norman said it still invests in a range of companies that are excluded by
its Norwegian peer, including the likes of BAE Systems, Norilsk Nickel,
Barrack Gold, Vedanta Resources, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold and Elbit