Who owns tobacco stocks?

42 Pages Posted: 10 May 2021

See all articles by David Blitz

David Blitz

Robeco Quantitative Investments

Laurens Swinkels

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR); Robeco Asset Management

Date Written: May 7, 2021


We compare the ownership characteristics of tobacco stocks with their peers in the same country and industry group. We find lower reported ownership for stocks in the tobacco industry, which suggests that anonymous investors are larger owners of these sin stocks. Compared to peer stocks, U.S. and U.K. asset managers collectively overweight tobacco stocks, while norm-constrained investors such as sovereign wealth funds and pension funds underweight tobacco stocks. Passive managers have large stakes in tobacco stocks that are in line with the weights of these stocks in broad capitalization-weighted indices, indicating that passive replication of ethically screened indices is still a niche. We also identify some prominent active investors who take large positions in tobacco stocks.

Keywords: Divestment, Environmental Social and Governance (ESG), Exclusion, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sustainable investing, Tobacco

JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14, i18

Suggested Citation

Blitz, David and Swinkels, Laurens, Who owns tobacco stocks? (May 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3841450 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3841450

David Blitz

Robeco Quantitative Investments ( email )

Weena 850
Rotterdam, 3014 DA

Laurens Swinkels (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA

Robeco Asset Management ( email )

Rotterdam, 3000
+31 10 224 2470 (Phone)
+31 10 224 2110 (Fax)

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