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SOFAZ, UN Working Group on business and human rights discuss cooperation

Posted on 28 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov met a delegation of the UN Working Group on business and human rights. During the meeting, Movsumov spoke about management of the fund`s resources, its investing activities and projects financed by SOFAZ.
The SOFAZ Executive Director also highlighted the Fund`s activities, as well as issues related to the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Angola SWF to send students to Switzerland as it ‘invests in investing’

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA), has launched a scholarship scheme for young Angolans to study business management, banking and finance in Switzerland with a view to improving the country’s capacity to invest its oil revenues wisely.
The programme, in partnership with the School of Management and Law of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), will send talented young Angolans to Zurich to undertake “an intensive and exclusive management course with a focus on international business management and banking and finance”, according to a joint ZHAW and FSDEA statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Super Fund building in lockdown as Gaza protest escalates

Posted on 15 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Police are guarding the New Zealand Superannuation Fund building in downtown Auckland as pro-Palestinian protesters gather outside. ONE News reporter Helen Castles understands six activists are inside and have chained themselves to an office on level 12.
Staff have been told the building is in lockdown. The protesters are chanting ‘Occupy’ and ‘Free Palestine’. Earlier this week there were calls for the Super Fund to drop its shareholding in an Israeli chemical company that produces a lethal chemical allegedly used in fighting in Gaza………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will Sovereign Wealth Funds Become Activist Shareholders?

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There are some concerns as to whether Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) will become activist shareholders because of an equivocation of the term “activist”, notes Harvard Law School Forum. June Rhee, Co-editor of HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation in the recent post dated August 7, 2014 titled: “Sovereign Shareholder Activism: How SWFs Can Engage in Corporate Governance” notes activism is linked to the increasing importance of corporate governance.
The author notes with respect to equity investments in publicly traded firms, there are some concerns that Sovereign Wealth Funds will become ‘activist’ shareholders. The author points out there are primarily two threshold issues that need to be addressed before one develops policy responses to sovereign shareholder activism………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ Superannuation fund linked to fighting in Gaza

Posted on 13 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There are calls for the NZ Superannuation Fund to drop its shareholding in an Israeli chemical company that produces a lethal chemical allegedly used in fighting in Gaza. Labour’s foreign affairs and energy spokesman David Shearer and the Peace Foundation are calling for the NZ Superannuation Fund to immediately drop its shareholding in Israel Chemicals Ltd, a manufacturer of white phosphorus.
NZ Superannuation Fund says they are monitoring the conflict between Israel and Palestine and expect all the companies they invest in to obey international and local laws………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan wants to host Tour de France stage

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan will bid to host a Tour de France stage, Tengrinews reports citing AFP. Nibali’s triumph on the Champs Elysees on Sunday concluded an eight year campaign by his Astana Pro Team — named after the Kazakh capital and funded by the country’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk Kazyna — to get people talking about the world’s biggest landlocked nation.
“This has been a very successful project, if you took the mathematics, how many times Astana was named in social media and in newspapers and on TV,” said Kairat Kelimbetov, president of Kazakh Cycling, governor of the country’s central bank and a former deputy prime minister……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Super Fund to hold on to Israeli investments

Posted on 05 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Superannuation Fund’s rejected the Green Party’s call to divest from Israeli companies - until their country ends its strikes on Gaza. Just over $7 million is invested in 38 Israeli companies and the Super Fund plans to keep it there for now.
It’s investigating one of the companies over its supply of chemical white phosphorous but the rest, it says, are working within Israeli and international law. But the Super Fund says it could review the appropriateness of those investments if the UN or our government orders sanctions or an arms embargo, and a company defies those………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ issue over $118 mln for youth education

Posted on 29 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ has allocated more than $118 million for youth education abroad. SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan’s oil and gas revenues, was established in 1999 with assets worth $271 million.
As of July 1, SOFAZ has allocated about 93 million manats as part of the State Program on education of Azerbaijani youth abroad in 2007-2015, SOFAZ reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bigger govt role needed in green finance

Posted on 14 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The government can play a more powerful role than capital market in encouraging financial investment flowing into sustainable development businesses, said Gao Xiqing, former president of China Investment Corporation, China’s key sovereign wealth fund.
“The financial sector is overall cautious in investing in environmentally friendly industries,” he said. Many international public relations firms have been lobbying him to invest in environmental protection and non-fossil energy fuels projects since the launch of China’s sovereign wealth fund, said Gao………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC invests S$87m in China’s Huaxia Dairy Farm

Posted on 03 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A consortium led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and private equity firm Olympus Capital has invested an additional US$106 million (S$132.1 million) in China’s Huaxia Dairy Farm. In a statement on Wednesday (July 2), GIC said it is investing US$70 million (S$87.2 million) in this latest round of funding, while Olympus Capital Asia is putting in US$30 million (S$37.4 million).
Other existing shareholders, including Grand River Capital, are investing the remaining US$6 million (S$7.5 million), it added. Combined with its previous investments, Olympus Capital Asia has now invested US$108 million (S$134.6 million) in the company and is its largest shareholder………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China SWF’s Latest Investment Pick: Agriculture, Food

Posted on 20 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China Investment Corp. (CIC), China’s $650 billion sovereign wealth fund, is shifting some of its allocation to agriculture. “We believe the agriculture sector offers stability, a way of hedging against inflation and a device for spreading risk,” CIC’s CEO Ding Xuedong wrote in the Financial Times.
“We are keen to invest more across the entire value chain—in partnership with governments, multilateral organizations and like-minded institutional investors—in areas that will help to unlock the industry’s potential, increase the food supply and offer attractive returns.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China’s sovereign wealth fund shifts focus to agriculture

Posted on 18 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s sovereign wealth fund is shifting its focus to invest in agriculture and global food supplies in a significant strategic move that reflects the priorities of the country’s new leadership.
In an opinion piece in the Financial Times, Ding Xuedong, chairman of China Investment Corp, said the country’s $650bn sovereign wealth fund wants to invest more in agriculture around the world and “across the entire value chain”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil fund may profit from Thai prawn slavery

Posted on 13 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil fund may be forced to divest its 250m kroner stake in the Thai food company CP Foods, after the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that the company sources prawns from ships that employ slave labour.
According to Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper, the Government Pension Fund of Norway, as the oil fund is known, holds a 0.54 percent stake in the company, making it one of the largest international shareholders………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Norway needs the courage to lead

Posted on 06 June 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nina Jensen, chief executive officer of WWF Norway, explains why Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the biggest in the world, is critically important in tackling climate change. The most important tool to act on climate change in Norway is our sovereign wealth fund - known as the Government Pension Fund Global, or the Oil Fund, valued at over $800bn.
Because of its size and the investment potential, Norway holds high responsibility: it could contribute to redefining investments globally and, by doing so, to moving the dial on climate change………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund pulls out of Argentina

Posted on 26 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest investors, has pulled its investments out of Argentina, a top fund official said on Friday, blaming the government’s protectionist policies there.
Latin America’s No. 3 economy has been struggling to maintain investor confidence following repeated market interventions by President Cristina Fernandez and amid an ongoing legal battle over a massive debt default. Her administration also heavily regulates capital flows and imports. “We have pulled out from Argentina,” Trond Grande, the fund’s deputy chief executive, told a business seminar………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: Our pot of gold for medical research, but who benefits?

Posted on 19 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the big features of the federal budget that intrigued me is the huge medical research future fund. Future funds are mostly known as sovereign funds and are used by many countries; I have often argued that the Norwegian and Alaskan models are the ones we should mimic.
Both those funds are free from political interference and work on the principle of investing the proceeds of non-renewable resources to generate sustainable wealth that contributes to the wellbeing of the citizens of their respective jurisdictions. Every Norwegian is now a crown millioniare and in Alaska, citizens receive an annual tax-free dividend from their fund…………………………………..Full Article: Source

End of oil boom threatens Norway’s welfare model

Posted on 09 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s energy boom is tailing off years ahead of expectations, exposing an economy unprepared for life after oil and threatening the long-term viability of the world’s most generous welfare model.
The Scottish National Party’s argument in favour of independence has centred on the promise that Scotland can replicate the success of Norway’s oil economy, creating a sovereign wealth fund for future generations, while public coffers would be only half as dependent on oil and gas………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hotel boycott grows over Brunei Penal Code

Posted on 07 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The response here to the planned imposition of Islamic law in Brunei, with extreme penalties for adultery and gay sex, has become more pointed in recent days as two Hollywood-related charities moved events from the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency.
In a measure of the remarkable speed of the censure movement, the Beverly Hills mayor, Lili Bosse, said she will ask her city’s Council on Tuesday to urge the Brunei Investment Agency to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel, The Wrap reported………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China state investor shifts sights to agribusiness worldwide

Posted on 29 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agriculture-related businesses worldwide, from farms in South America to dairy factories in the Netherlands, may soon find themselves in the sights of a new mega investor – China Investment Corp. The mainland’s US$480 billion sovereign wealth fund is seeking to diversify its portfolio after it encountered hurdles while attempting to invest in other sectors, including real estate and technology, sources said.
CIC has been reviewing opportunities this year to invest in agriculture-related businesses, a field in which it has shown less interest in the past, people with a working relationship with the Beijing-headquartered firm said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway hands SWF ethical investment responsibilities to central bank

Posted on 09 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian finance ministry has adopted a report recommending changes to the way the country’s sovereign wealth fund – the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) – is run, including giving more power over its ethical investment policy to the fund managers at the Norwegian central bank.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the arm of Norges Bank that runs the fund, will then be responsible for deciding which companies to exclude from its investments on ethical grounds. It will also be expected to report regularly on the scale of its investments in renewable energy and in emerging markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Jensen defends oil fund changes

Posted on 08 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norwegian Finance Minister Siv Jensen rejected criticisms the government’s planned changes to the management of the nation’s massive sovereign wealth fund didn’t go far enough to ensure greener, socially responsible investments, saying the “Oil Fund” is a return-oriented investment scheme, and not a environmental or foreign policy tool.
Jensen’s main point was that while the fund aimed to invest responsibly and encourage companies to be good corporate citizens, it always has to focus first and foremost on investments that give the sovereign wealth fund the best possible return………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway fund RE reforms disappoint

Posted on 08 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s government has disappointed green groups by coming up with proposals for using the country’s $790bn oil fund that fall well short of expectations over increased renewables investments.
Although the government mandated the country’s sovereign wealth fund to invest more in environmentally-related stocks, critics say the new government directive does little to increase the actual impact of those investments with regards to renewable energy. Norway announced that stock investments made by the fund will grow from $5bn to about $8.4bn under the new mandate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wants to turn its huge oil fund greener

Posted on 07 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil-rich Norway moved Friday to target its huge sovereign wealth fund’s investments more closely at boosting green businesses, but environmentalists said the proposals were not strong enough.
In its yearly policy paper on the fund — the world’s largest — the rightwing government also proposed giving the central bank, which manages the fund day-to-day, more power to decide when to disinvest from a company for ethical reasons………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund to ramp up renewable energy investments

Posted on 07 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $860-billion (U.S.) oil fund should scale up its investments in renewable energy and weigh the risk to future returns posed by climate change, the finance ministry said on Friday, a shift green groups said was insufficient.
The switch is part of government reforms of the fund – the biggest of its kind in the world – that also include changes to its ethical guidelines and a review of its activities in emerging markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund could dump shares in oil, coal

Posted on 07 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway is considering excluding foreign oil and coal companies from its $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, which manages profits from Norway’s own fossil fuel industry.
In a shake-up of the fund that sharpens its environmental focus, Finance Minister Siv Jensen said Friday she had appointed a panel to assess the question on the grounds of possible damage to the climate. It will report back to the government in November………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway eyes ‘green’ fund

Posted on 07 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil-rich Norway moved on Friday to target its huge sovereign wealth fund’s investments more closely at boosting green businesses, but environmentalists said the proposals were not strong enough.
In its yearly policy paper on the fund — the world’s largest — the right-wing government also proposed giving the central bank, which manages the fund day-to-day, more power to decide when to divest from a company for ethical reasons. Fed by the country’s oil surplus, the fund is currently worth 5.1 billion kroner (US$856 million), invested abroad in stocks and bonds and, to a lesser extent, real estate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah wants to up fund for CR initiatives

Posted on 03 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd said one of the key initiatives for the company this year is the continuous effort to build capacity of its Civil Society Partner Organisations (CSPO). The government investment arm is raising its investment for its corporate responsibility (CR) initiatives this year by 20 per cent to RM100 million, as part of its commitment to CSPO, said its managing director, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.
He said through the company’s CR grants programme, CSPOs will be able to broaden their impact by strenthening their service delivery, governance, and financial sustainability. Khazanah also reaffirmed its pledge to deepen and expand its CR initatives via the newly incorporated Yayasan Hasanah…………………………….Full Article: Source

CIC eyes agriculture, tips H2 China growth

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s sovereign wealth fund has singled out global agricultural investments as a particular area of interest, with other favoured sectors including information technology, real estate and infrastructure.
We are interested in agricultural industry-not only in emerging markets but also in other markets,” said Li Xiaopeng, chairman of the board of supervisors at China Investment Corporation. “We hope agricultural investment can provide CIC with stable returns over the long term.”………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asian investors want $1bn farm deals but sector not ready

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

International companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds are ready and willing to invest in the Australian farm sector, but many parts of the industry are still not investment-ready and lack the depth in management to facilitate deals.
“China Investment Corporation (China’s giant sovereign wealth fund) would like to do deal sizes of minimum $500 million,” said CBRE Asia regional director Danny Thomas. He added that because Chinese companies often only wanted to take a 50 per cent interest in deals, the transaction had to be worth at least $1 billion………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek sets up $40mln fund to help Singapore prepare for emergencies

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings is kickstarting events to mark its 40th year by setting up a $40 million fund to help Singapore prepare for and deal with difficult situations such as emergencies. The Temasek Emergency Preparedness (TEP) fund will give money to programmes that support people in crises including environmental disasters such as haze, or trauma from accidents.
“In Temasek we believe that if you want to do well you have to be prepared all the time,” said Temasek Holdings chairman Lim Boon Heng at a media briefing last Friday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Profits earned by Temasek ‘are returned to community’

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings builds for the long term and the money it makes is returned to the community, said chairman Lim Boon Heng. “There is a common thread in what Temasek does: What we do, we do with tomorrow in mind - a quote from one of our founding leaders Mr S Rajaratnam. So we build the institution and we build it for future generations,” said Mr Lim last Friday.
He was speaking to the media as he reflected on the investment company’s 40th anniversary. Set up by the government in 1974 to hold the companies it owns, Temasek has a $215 billion portfolio as at March 31, 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway rejects ban on coal investments for biggest wealth fund

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s parliament rejected a proposal to ban the nation’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund from investing in coal companies. “I’m disappointed but it’s been a big move to put this issue on the agenda,” Torstein Tvedt Solberg, one of the Labor Party lawmaker’s behind the proposal, said in an interview in Oslo. The party will revise its proposal and may submit it again after April, he said.
Built on Norway’s oil and gas income, the fund takes into account ethical rules on human rights, some weapons production, the environment and tobacco when deciding on investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The ethical work of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last week wasn’t a great one for companies in the extractive industries. In South Africa, a wage strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) against the world’s top three platinum producers — Amplats, Lonmin and Impala Platinum – entered its eighth week, with no end in sight.
In Norway, the Ethics Council of the state’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF or the Fund) released its 2013 Annual Report and announced that it was examining the operations of French oil giant Total, in the disputed Western Sahara, to determine whether its activities there are unethical and warrant exclusion of Total by the Fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to invest more of its $920bln sovereign wealth fund in renewables

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At a staggering $920 billion, Norway has the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, and Norwegian Prime Minister Erona Solberg has flagged that the country is planning to invest more of that national wealth in renewable energy.
Norway’s immense sovereign wealth fund has largely been accrued from its fossil fuel industry. Oil was discovered in Norwegian waters in the late 1960s, and in 2011 the country was the eighth largest crude oil exporter in the world. It was also the world’s third largest natural gas exporter in the that year. However, Norway’s stated aim is now to use its massive sovereign wealth to help address climate change………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Move by Norway sovereign wealth fund to invest in renewables could have ‘global impact’

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The government of Norway will mandate the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, to invest in renewable energy, Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced in Oslo today. “We are thrilled that Norway is stepping forward to lead on renewable energy,” says Nina Jensen, CEO of WWF-Norway. “If done at scale, this will have global impact and redefine how we use money consistent with commitments to limit climate change.
“We have long advocated that the fund invest up to 5% in infrastructure for renewable energy. This will require a change in the guidelines for the fund, similar to the mandate to investing in property that was granted in 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund to step up renewables investment

Posted on 17 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg this week announced that the country is to use its $920bn sovereign wealth fund to drive investment in renewable energy projects, confirming that it is to increase its exposure to clean energy companies.
Solberg said the country’s pension fund, which has been built on the country’s oil wealth and is now one of the world’s most powerful institutional investors, will expand its holdings in renewable energy interests. A full announcement on the extent to which the fund will increase its exposure to clean energy is now expected early next month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian sovereign wealth adds to Morocco’s energy headache

Posted on 17 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Adding to a growing chorus of concerned investors, Norway’s $850 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund announced that they would be reviewing their connection to France’s Total due to their involvement in exploration efforts in the Western Sahara region of Morocco.
Charged with investing Norway’s oil and gas revenue, the fund has made it a point to invest only in ethical companies, excluding controversial investments like tobacco, weapons and landmines, according to a recent Reuters report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Total’s operations in Western Sahara under ethics probe by Norwegian wealth fund

Posted on 17 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is examining the operations of the French oil firm Total in Western Sahara to ascertain whether its activities there are unethical, reported Wednesday Reuters.
The fund, responsible to grow revenue from the exploitation of Norwegian oil and gas reserves, manages a portfolio of more than 600 billion euros, making it one of the largest investors in the world. The fund, which invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas for future generations, invests only in firms it considers ethical, and has blacklisted 63 firms, including makers of nuclear arms, antipersonnel landmines, cluster bombs and tobacco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to raise oil fund’s exposure to renewable energy

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg plans to increase the Scandinavian nation’s $840 billion oil fund’s exposure to renewable energy, reflecting a continuing shift toward using its vast wealth to combat climate change.
Norway, possessing the largest sovereign-wealth fund in the world, currently devotes a fraction of its assets to green investments. Ms. Solberg told reporters Thursday “we will expand the mandate” in effort to more acutely combat global warming, but didn’t specify how much more money will be devoted to renewable energy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Move by Norway sovereign wealth fund to invest in renewables could have ‘global impact’

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The government of Norway will mandate the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, to invest in renewable energy, Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced in Oslo “We are thrilled that Norway is stepping forward to lead on renewable energy,” says Nina Jensen, CEO of WWF-Norway. “If done at scale, this will have global impact and redefine how we use money consistent with commitments to limit climate change.
“We have long advocated that the fund invest up to 5% in infrastructure for renewable energy. This will require a change in the guidelines for the fund, similar to the mandate to investing in property that was granted in 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund may inject $40bln in renewables

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg has confirmed plans to increase the exposure of its $920 billion sovereign wealth fund – the world’s largest – to renewable energy, part of its stated plans to use its vast wealth to combat climate change.
Norway currently invests only a fraction of its sovereign wealth fund (built up from mostly oil revenues) to green investment. Solberg says this will be expanded, but she will not say how much until April 4. The government has already appointed independent experts to evaluate whether the fund should exit its coal, oil, and gas investments, which currently make up around 10 per cent of its value………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Total’s operations in Western Sahara face ethics probe

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is examining the operations of oil firm Total in Western Sahara, a disputed region of North Africa with a history of human rights abuses, to ascertain whether its activities there are unethical.
The $850bn fund, which invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas for future generations, invests only in firms it considers ethical, and has blacklisted 63 firms, including makers of nuclear arms, antipersonnel landmines, cluster bombs and tobacco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund examining Total’s ethics in W.Sahara

Posted on 13 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is examining the operations of oil firm Total in Western Sahara, a disputed region of North Africa with a history of human rights abuses, to ascertain whether its activities there are unethical.
The $850-billion fund, which invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas for future generations, invests only in companies it considers ethical, and has blacklisted 63 firms, including makers of nuclear arms, anti-personnel landmines, cluster bombs and tobacco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will Norway’s oil fund ban fossil fuel?

Posted on 12 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Movements of Norway’s Oil Fund (GPFG) continues to grab attention from economic, environmental and political side. FT and Epoch Times questions the fund’s critical decision on coal mining investments last month.
The two governing parties of Norway have agreed to set up an expert group to investigate whether the oil fund should ban on investments in fossil fuels last month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s pension fund continues to invest in coal companies destroying Indonesia’s forests

Posted on 07 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s massive sovereign wealth fund is continuing to invest in coal companies that are destroying forests in Indonesia despite divesting from forestry and plantation companies with poor environmental track records, reports the Rainforest Foundation Norway.
Analyzing portfolio data released released by the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the environmental group found the fund has $21.5 billion in holdings in companies “from sectors known to be driving deforestation” and $3 billion in companies that run coal mining operations in Indonesia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Wealth funds have sought out Green Investment Bank

Posted on 07 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) should eventually open up to outside investment and has already been approached by sovereign wealth funds, chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin said. He also said he would like to diversify beyond equity investing into asset management and banking.
He said that, perhaps in ten years, the board could ask the government to sell down its stake in the bank. He said the GIB would not compromise its guiding principle to invest in the low carbon economy, saying such investments are already viable and will become more attractive. He added: “Sovereign wealth funds have approached us saying ‘can we buy equity’?”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Giant fund may ditch Aussie investments

Posted on 05 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some of Australia’s biggest resource companies could lose a major investor if Norway goes through with a plan to ban its famous sovereign wealth fund from investing in coal, oil and gas. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is the world’s biggest at A$840 billion ($897 billion) and is a major shareholder in companies such as BHP Billiton, Woodside Petroleum and Whitehaven Coal.
A non-government majority in the Norwegian parliament had been edging towards a vote on banning the fund from investing in coal, and the pressure has forced the government to launch a year-long expert review into whether the fund should cease investing in all forms of fossil fuel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian wealth fund may ditch Australian resource firms

Posted on 04 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some of Australia’s biggest resource companies could lose a major investor if Norway goes through with a plan to ban its famous sovereign wealth fund from investing in coal, oil and gas. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is the world’s biggest at $840 billion and is a major shareholder in companies such as BHP Billiton, Woodside Petroleum and Whitehaven Coal.
A non-government majority in the Norwegian parliament had been edging towards a vote on banning the fund from investing in coal, and the pressure has forced the government to launch a year-long expert review into whether the fund should cease investing in all forms of fossil fuel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway pension fund steps up ethical investment policy

Posted on 03 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norway sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world with assets of $810 billion (£485 billion), recently excluded a mining company from its portfolio because of its parent company’s operations.
Sesa Sterlite, an India-focused subsidiary of mining conglomerate Vendanta Resources, which itself was excluded from the pension fund in 2007, was recommended to be excluded by the Council of Ethics. They cited exclusion on ethical grounds, saying Vedanta’s “relevant operations in India, which are run through the company Sesa Sterlite, present an unacceptable risk of environmental damage and serious violations of human rights.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund ban proves no hurdle for Arctic coal mining

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As lawmakers in Oslo debate whether to ban their $840 billion sovereign wealth fund from investing in coal companies, the country has opened a new coal mine in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.
Mining for coal in the northernmost reaches of the globe helps Western Europe’s biggest oil producer keep a presence in the fossil-fuel rich region as nations, including Russia and the U.S., jockey for power there. Norway is fighting for a claim to the Arctic as its North Sea oil and gas reserves start to run out after more than 40 years of production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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