Norway’s $1.3-trillion wealth fund blacklisted 15 companies last year, including Glencore, as part of the world’s biggest sovereign investor’s efforts to fight unethical conduct at some of the most powerful corporations.
Other companies added to the Oslo-based fund’s exclusion list in 2020 were RWE, Canadian Natural Resources and Anglo American, the investing behemoth said in a report on Thursday.
“We divest from companies where we no longer wish to be a shareholder for ethical or sustainability reasons,” the fund said. “By not investing in these companies, we reduce our exposure to unacceptable risks.”
The fund said the 15 stocks it excluded from its portfolio last year were singled out based on ethical considerations ranging from corruption, to human rights violation as well as severe environmental damage. It exited another 32 firms due to its assessment of basic environmental, social and governance risks, it said.
The Oslo-based fund generated $123 billion in returns in 2020, marking its second-best performance ever thanks in large part to tech stocks. But Nicolai Tangen, chief executive since September, said last month he doesn’t expect the stimulus-driven surge in equity markets to continue.
Some of the fund’s biggest losses last year were tied to its holdings of oil stocks, and Tangen has made clear he wants to focus more on sustainability to fight everything from pollution, to corruption and sexism.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.