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Asset Management / Wealth Management
Norway wealth fund drops three firms from portfolio
GPFG council finds companies posing risk of violating code of ethics
Tom King 20 May 2024

Norway’s US$1.3 trillion Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), managed by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), has decided to exclude a trio of firms from its investment portfolio as they are deemed to pose the risk of violating its code of ethics.

Citing “serious ethics violations of individuals' rights in situations of war or conflict”, the fund has dropped China’s Weichai Power, India’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ), and US defence and technology firm L3Harris Technologies.

APSEZ, an Indian logistics company that runs ports and provides port services, is part of the Adani group of companies. As per the recommendation of GPFG’s Council on Ethics, APSEZ has been under observation since March 2022 due to its business association with the armed forces in Myanmar.

In May 2023, APSEZ disclosed that it had sold its port-related operations in Myanmar to Solar Energy Ltd. No information on the buyer is available, and APSEZ has stated that it cannot share any such information on the grounds of confidentiality. Lack of information means that the council cannot establish whether APSEZ has links to the enterprise concerned.

In a situation in which extremely serious violations are taking place, GPFG says, this constitutes an unacceptable risk that the fund’s investments in APSEZ may breach its ethical guidelines.

The GPFG board also elected to exclude Chinese firm Weichai Power due to unacceptable risk that the company contributes to sales of weapons to states in armed conflicts, where the weapons are used in ways that constitute breaches of the international rules on the conduct of hostilities.

In addition, the board decided to exclude Florida-based company L3Harris Technologies due to the company’s development and production of components for nuclear weapons.

Industry observers believe GPFG could have divested about US$400 million of investment by exiting its holdings in the three companies.

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