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Norwegian state pension fund sheds holdings over ethics concerns

Europe
16.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Stockholm (dpa) - Norway‘s state pension fund said Tuesday it has shed holdings in nine firms over ethics concerns, including several Asia-based shipping companies and arms manufacturers linked to the production of nuclear weapons.

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, one of the world‘s largest sovereign wealth funds, said it acted on advice from its ethics panel.

The shipping companies were involved in so-called beaching of decommissioned vessels in Bangladesh and Pakistan where workers break them up for scrap under poor conditions, according to the panel.

The companies included Evergreen Marine Corp of Taiwan, Korea Line Corp, and Thailand-based firms Precious Shipping PCL as well as Thoresen Thai Agencies PCL.

South Korean shipping company Pan Ocean Co. Ltd was placed under observation on similar grounds, the statement said.

Due to their role in making nuclear weapons the fund dropped US-based AECOM, Fluor Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries as well as BAE Systems.

Polish property development company Atal was also dropped as one of of its subcontractors used North Korean workers with very poor conditions, the fund said.

The value of the divestments was expected to be published in the annual report at the end of February, a Norwegian central bank spokesman said.

The bank manages the fund that uses income from Norway‘s petroleum wealth. It was created to pay for Norway‘s future health and pension expenditures through investments outside the Norwegian economy.

The fund owns shares in almost 9,000 companies worldwide.

 

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