Investors dump Reed over arms fair

<p>Two investors in Reed Elsevier have sold their shares as a protest that the publishing giant runs arms fairs, reports the Telegraph. F&amp;C Asset Management and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust sold their holdings after concerns about the companies selling equipment at Reed&#39;s fairs.</p><p>The London Book Fair&#39;s parent Reed Exhibitions runs the UK arms fair, Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi). Reed&#39;s involvement in the arms business has been highlighted before, in 2003 authors including J M Coetzee and A S Byatt called upon the London Book Fair&#39;s organiser to end its connection to the global arms trade.</p><p>Joseph Rowntree, founded on Quaker principles, sold &pound;2m of Reed shares yesterday, according to the Telegraph. Friends Provident sold all the Reed shares in its ethical &quot;stewardship&quot; fund. Karina Litvak, head of governance at F&amp;C, said the fund manager had probed Reed after last year&#39;s DSEi fair but had not been satisfied with the efficacy of the company&#39;s systems for ensuring exhibitors were properly vetted.</p><p>Reed said: &quot;Our portfolio of defence shows accounts for less than 1pc of total Reed Elsevier revenues.&quot; It added that its trade shows &quot;all strictly comply with national and international laws and regulations&quot;.</p>