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Exclusion of five more companies from the Government Pension Fund Global’s investment universe

On 14 October, the Ministry of Finance excluded five more companies from the Government Pension Fund Global's investment universe. The Ministry further requested Norges Bank to follow up another three companies in the active ownership activities.

Following recommendations from the Council of Ethics the Ministry of Finance excluded the following companies from the Government Pension Fund Global’s investment universe, due to an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage:

  • WTK Holdings Berhad
  • Ta Ann Holdings Berhad
  • Zijin Mining Group
  • Volcan Compañia Minera 

Furthermore the Ministry of Finance excluded Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd., based on an assessment of the risk of contributing to the worst forms of child labour.

According to the Ministry’s statement, the decision to exclude the aforementioned companies was made on basis of the recommendations from the Council on Ethics. The Ministry stated that it was satisfied that all of the Council of Etchics’ recommendations establish with reasonable certainty that investments in these companies represent an unacceptable risk of violating the Guidelines for observation and exclusion.

The Ministry of Finance also requested Norges Bank to include oil spills and the environmental conditions in the Niger Delta in its ownership efforts for a period of between five and ten years. Thus, the Ministry did not follow the recommendations from the Council on Ethics to place Royal Dutch Shell plc. and Eni Sp.A‘s operations in the Niger Delta under observation. The Ministry of Finance however considers enhancing the active ownership efforts aimed at the mining sector, particularlty with respect to the mining related environmental damage with the company AngloGold Ashanti.

The Author

Klaus Henrik Wiese-Hansen
Klaus Henrik Wiese-Hansen Klaus Henrik Wiese-Hansen is a partner at Steenstrup Stordrange’s office in Oslo, and is a member of the M&A and Corporate Practice as well as the Banking and Finance group. He has 14 years' experience in all aspects of financial markets legislation and asset management, including Private Equity, Investment Fund Management, Securities Legislation, Banking and Finance, Insurance, and M&A with respect to these areas. He has advised numerous Norwegian and foreign institutional clients in all aspects of their businesses relating to the aforementioned legal areas.

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