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Saudi Arabia Investing Billions into Russia Agriculture

Posted on 22 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, has signed an agreement to invest up to $10 billion in Russia according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The majority of the investment will be committed to agricultural projects with the remaining balance spent on medicine, logistics, real estate, and the retail sector, reports Global Ag Investing.
Russia will in turn be investing in Saudi Arabia. “The key investments will take place on Russian territory,” said RDIF chief, Kirill Dmitriev, “but we will also invest in Saudi Arabia, which we consider a very promising market.” The RDIF has signed an additional agreement with a second Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, through which both countries will pursue mutual investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia and across other countries in the Middle East………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Call for Norway’s oil fund to pull its weight

Posted on 06 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil fund came under attack from several of Sweden’s largest investors over concerns that the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund is not applying rigorous oversight to the companies it invests in.
The criticism levelled at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the oil fund’s $912 billion (Dh3.34 trillion) of assets, comes in response to its perceived indifference to one of the biggest financial scandals in Sweden in recent history. The scandal, which has tarnished Sweden’s image as a haven for ethical business practices, revealed corruption around expense claims and the misuse of corporate jets at SCA, the paper company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Capitalists Can Do Well While Doing Good

Posted on 26 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign-wealth funds in Norway and New Zealand, as well as pension funds like the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Denmark’s ATP, integrate ESG into their investment decisions.
But on the whole, marrying financial and ESG measurements is often resisted. Many managers point to their “fiduciary duty”—their obligation to protect their client’s interests. Under existing laws, they say, fiduciary duty is a barrier to using any metric other than financial returns in their investment analysis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A beginner’s guide to fossil fuel divestment

Posted on 24 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A coalition of philanthropic foundations, including the heirs to the Rockefeller oil fortune, started to pull out their investments last year, while cities divesting include San Francisco, Seattle and Oslo. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), recently revealed it had dropped 114 companies, including tar sands producers, on climate grounds.
The Church of England has divested from the most heavily polluting fossil fuels, while the World Council of Churches, which represents half a billion Christians worldwide, has ruled out all fossil fuel investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s coal exit creates ripples

Posted on 23 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While this decision by the fund could inspire other large investors, the fossil fuel divestment movement has already been building up considerable steam. When the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund decides to exit investments in coal, the ripples of the decision can be felt the world over.
Late last month, Norway’s parliament decided that the $900-billion sovereign wealth fund should exit from utilities and miners that get 30 per cent of their business from coal, a move that could trigger as much as $5 billion of divestments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Days after approving massive coal divestment, Norway votes to fund mining company

Posted on 19 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Members of Norway’s parliament voted unanimously during the first week of June to drop the biggest coal investments from its sovereign wealth fund. A week later, on June 11, the parliament approved a new budget item: 500 million kroner (about $65 million) to subsidize a state-owned coal mining company in Svalbard, Norway’s archipelago territory about 450 miles north of the mainland.
The government will provide Store Norske Spitsbergen Grubekompani (SNSG) with 205 million kroner ($27 million) in loans and 295 million kroner ($38.5 million) to purchase new property. Ninety-six of the parliament’s 169 members voted for the measure, and three voted against it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The end is in sight for the coal industry

Posted on 15 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A move by Norway to rid itself of coal investments in its sovereign wealth fund has big implications. Last week the Norwegian Parliament formally endorsed moves to divest the country’s $900 billion dollar sovereign wealth fund from coal interests. The policy will result in the fund removing $8 billion from the coal industry.
While it didn’t necessarily make huge global headlines, this is potentially one of the biggest climate policy announcements in years. Whilst the $8 billion Norway is divesting may not add up to a huge amount for a massive global industry, it symbolises something very important: the slow death of the coal industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund brings climate issues to fore

Posted on 12 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Climate change concerns have been brought to the fore with increased funds allocated from Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund, said Steinar Holden, professor from the department of economics of Oslo University. Norway agreed last Friday to sell stocks in all companies which have more than 30 percent revenues from coal or coal-based power. With this move, Norway plans to avoid environmental damage to the country.
The wealth from Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, which the country has dubbed an ‘oil fund,’ comes from the nation’s oil and gas revenues. The fund is invested in more than 80 countries and in 8,000 different companies in the coal, mining and banking sectors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s coal disinvestment is still just a drop in the ocean

Posted on 11 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Right on the money. The campaign to persuade big investors to sell off fossil fuel holdings has had its greatest triumph yet. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund must sell off its $5 billion of coal holdings, the country’s parliament voted last week. The fund is the largest stockholder in Europe, worth an astounding $900 billion.
The move won’t put an end to coal-burning for the companies concerned – including Drax, the owner of the UK’s biggest coal-fired power station. But campaigners argue that it sends a powerful message about how pumping ever more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is ethically unacceptable. It also makes financial sense to disinvest, they say, as the value of fossil fuel companies depends on reserves they may not be allowed to burn in the future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

$10 billion coal dump as world’s biggest sovereign fund turns green

Posted on 09 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the past week environmental-based investing became a lot more mainstream thanks to the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund – Norway’s – deciding to divest itself of stocks whose assets are dominated by coalminers or coal burners.
Sure there is plenty of irony in the fact that the $US900 billion fund, Government Pension Fund Global, was built on the back of Norway’s enormous oil and gas industry but those in this industry are fond, particularly lately, of highlighting their energy is less dirty than coal and (thus) green in a relative sense. There were certainly calls for the fund to divest all fossil fuel investments. Although this wasn’t done, the coal move is a big first step………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australian Future Fund Invests In Applied Solar

Posted on 09 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Applied Solar Technologies, a Delhi based solar power company has raised R256.36 Cr ($40 Mn) in a new round of funding led by Australian government’s sovereign wealth fund Future Fund, alongwith existing investors Bessemer Venture, Capricorn Investment and IFC.
With the closure of fourth funding round, Applied Solar took its overall PE funding to more than $85 Mn. In 2009, Bessemer had invested an undisclosed amount in the company. In 2010, IFC alongwith Bessemer invested $21 Mn in the second round. Again in 2012, Bessemer, IFC and Capricorn invested $24.6 Mn in the company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s pension fund to sell coal assets

Posted on 09 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s parliament, the Storting, has voted unanimously to sell off all coal-related assets from the country’s US$880bn pension fund, thought to be the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) owns around 1.3% of all listed companies across the world. It will no longer be allowed to invest in companies which either base more than 30% of their business on coal or derive more than 30% of their revenue from coal. Norges Bank and the country’s Council on Ethics will now be asked to prepare guidance on how to divest currently-held stakes in such companies.
In a joint statement all the parties in the Storting say that the fund has a long-term perspective and that “good long-term returns are dependent on sustainable development in economic, environmental and social terms”. They say there is a financial risk related to climate change and investment in emission-heavy companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s plan to divest massive $900B fund from coal could hit U.S. companies

Posted on 09 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Directors of the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, an investment pool worth more than $900 billion, will sell many of its coal industry holdings, officials said last week. Norway’s Parliament voted Friday to ratify the decision, made a week before by the body’s finance committee. Parliament ordered the fund to sell stakes in mining and power companies that directly, or indirectly, base 30 percent or more of their revenue or their regular activities on coal.
The new screening method will go into effect in 2016. Petter Johnsen, the fund’s chief investment officer, said in May that the new policy would affect between 50 and 75 listed companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Coal under siege as researchers release Norwegian fund divestment hit list

Posted on 09 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

University of Oxford study details the top 40 companies facing divestment from Norwegian pension fund following crucial vote. The bleak outlook for the global coal industry took another turn for the worse over the weekend, as many of the sector’s leading lights were forced to digest the news that the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund wants nothing to do with them.
Confirmation came on Friday in the form of a vote by the Norwegian parliament, rubberstamping proposals to divest the $945bn Government Pension Fund Global from mining companies that derive more than 30 per cent of their revenues from coal and power companies that base more than 30 per cent of their activity on the fuel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s largest sovereign wealth fund pulls out of coal

Posted on 08 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Decision by Norwegian fund, worth more than £570bn, expected to affect between 50 and 75 international companies. Norway’s parliament has voted to pull its sovereign wealth fund - the world’s biggest - out of coal, in what is seen as a major victory for environmentalists.
The parliament voted unanimously that the fund - worth almost seven trillion kroner (£577.6bn) - must sell its holdings in mining and power companies that generate more than 30pc of their output or revenue from coal. The decision is expected to affect between 50 and 75 international companies, representing holdings of 35bn to 40bn kroner, according to finance ministry calculations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway sovereign wealth fund to divest billions of dollars of coal holdings

Posted on 08 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $US890 billion ($1.17 billion) government pension fund, considered the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, will sell off many of its investments related to coal, making it the biggest institution yet to join a growing international movement to abandon at least some fossil fuel stocks.
Parliament voted Friday to order the fund to shift its holdings out of billions of dollars of stock in companies whose businesses rely at least 30 percent on coal. The decision - which could seem paradoxical, given that Norway is a major producer of oil and gas - is certain to add momentum to a push to divest fossil fuel stocks that emerged three years ago on college campuses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund to divest from coal companies

Posted on 08 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After a unanimous vote by its parliament, Norway’s massive $900 billion Government Pension Fund (GPFG) is set to divest from companies involved in coal mining and coal-fired power plants. The divestment move would affect companies that derive more than 30% of their revenues from coal-related activities, and one analysis from three international environmental groups found that this would amount to a total of about $8.7 billion.
The move is the largest divestment from fossil fuels on record, and is being celebrated by environmental groups that have been stepping up a global campaign toward fossil fuel divestment, from college campuses to religious institutions and now investment funds. The divestment would likely affect about 50 companies and subsidiaries based in the United States………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway pulls huge sovereign fund out of coal

Posted on 08 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s parliament voted Friday to pull its sovereign wealth fund – the world’s biggest – out of coal, in what is seen as a major victory for environmentalists. Parliament voted unanimously that the fund – worth almost 7,000 billion kroner ($890 billion) – must sell its holdings in mining and power companies that generate more than 30 percent of their output or revenue from coal.
The decision was expected after the finance committee reached a compromise on the issue on May 27 and it is expected to affect between 50 and 75 international companies, representing holdings of 35 to 40 billion kroner, according to finance ministry calculations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Wealth Fund Ban Betrays Norway’s Awkward Fossil Fuel Goals

Posted on 02 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Western Europe’s biggest oil producer has decided coal is too dirty to invest in. Norway’s $890 billion sovereign wealth fund, built on more than four decades of extracting crude from the North Sea, was ordered by lawmakers on Wednesday to limit holdings of companies that produce or burn coal. That could trigger at least $4.5 billion in divestments of stocks such as RWE AG and Duke Energy Corp.
“There’s this incredible logic that coal is the climate problem, and Norway is helping solve the world climate problem by producing gas that can replace coal in Europe and reduce emissions,” Rasmus Hansson, a lawmaker for the Green Party, said in a phone interview. “That logic has unbelievably been accepted by the Norwegian majority as credible — which it isn’t.”……………………………..Full Article: Source

Washing one’s hands of the stain of coal

Posted on 01 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fossil fuels divestment is an idea whose time has come. But is it a good idea? Last week brought the news that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, would be divesting from coal. Meanwhile, big university and religious endowments have divested from fossil fuel companies, after coming under pressure on campus that recalled the South African divestment movement three decades earlier. Stanford is divesting from coal. The Church of England will no longer invest in tar sands.
Chevron fended off a resolution that it pay out a higher dividend, in a move to deny it the cash to continue spending money. Pension fund managers around the world are debating their policy, under pressure from activists, while the City and Wall Street have upped their expenditure on research into low- carbon investments. Global oil companies are taking note………………………………….Full Article: Source

“Pretend Divestment” Versus Real Divestment In Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 01 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund announced to the world it had divested from 51 coal companies in 2014 earlier this year, signaling one of the biggest divestment announcements of the current global divestment trend. However, a new report has shown that instead of decreasing their holdings in the coal industry, Norway’s Government Pension Fund has increased by over 3 billion kroner, bringing the funds total coal holdings up to 85.8 billion kroner.
Interestingly, within days of the report’s release, Norway’s parliament has since agreed to sell its shares in companies that generate more than 30% of their income or their electricity from coal………………………………….Full Article: Source

Will divestment from coal make a difference to climate change?

Posted on 01 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If Norway was a person, it would be that friend you had in college who was annoyingly brilliant at everything but whom you couldn’t quite bring yourself to dislike. Its levels of economic development, income and gender equality, educational performance, social cohesion and crime are among the very best in the world.
Much of this success has been built on the rather solid foundation of North Sea oil, and yet the country’s stunning fjords aren’t spoiled by slicks or choked by smog. Norway is among the most environmentally conscious nations, you see. Of course it is… That may strike some as hypocritical, given that all that oil will be burned somewhere else, but it seems Norway is now applying its green domestic principles to its international investments. The nation’s vast sovereign wealth fund (a £594bn pension pot filled by decades of oil revenue, worth roughly £117,000 for every single Norwegian and by far the world’s largest) is about to divest from coal………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norwegian pension fund to divest from coal

Posted on 01 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian parliament has decided to pull out of investments in the coal sector. Environmental campaigners say this will have a major impact, but still seek closure of potential loopholes.
The Norwegian parliament’s finance committee announced on Thursday that it intends to divest the country’s sovereign wealth fund from the coal industry. Environmental groups have welcomed the Norwegian parliament’s decision, saying it shows how lawmakers have responded to public pressure in the global fight against climate change………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund accused of ‘pretend divestment’

Posted on 29 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World’s richest sovereign wealth fund increased its investments in coal despite high-profile pledge to dump fossil fuels, financial analysis shows. The world’s richest sovereign wealth fund has sunk more money into coal just three months after a high-profile pledge to dump fossil fuels as part of its commitment to responsible investing, according to financial analysis by three environmental groups.
Instead of reducing its overall exposure to businesses based on coal, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (GPF) increased its holdings by 3bn Norwegian kroner to NOK 85.8bn ($11bn/£7.3bn) by the end of last year, the report Still Dirty, Still Dangerous said………………………………Full Article: Source

Coal divestment on tap at Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global

Posted on 29 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, could be forced to divest its allocations to certain coal companies, following a unanimous decision by the finance committee of the Storting, the Norwegian parliament.
The divestment would apply to companies that derive 30% or more of their business from coal. The finance committee’s proposition will be voted on in parliament June 5, said a spokeswoman for Norges Bank Investment Management, the investment manager of the 7 trillion Norwegian kroner ($957 billion) sovereign wealth fund………………………………Full Article: Source

Norway’s Giant Oil Fund Will Divest From Coal. Irony Noted.

Posted on 29 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund may soon have to drop its investments in the coal industry, thanks to a new set of rules making their way through the country’s parliament. Starting next year, the fund would be forced to pull its money from companies such as mining firms or utilities that make at least 30 percent of their revenue from coal, according to the Associated Press.
The law received bipartisan support in committee and is widely expected to pass during a final vote early next month. This is a notable victory for climate change activists who have been lobbying institutional investors to divest from fossil fuels. A number of university endowments and foundations have already joined the cause, but Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is the globe’s largest, laying claim to roughly 1 percent of all the world’s stocks and bonds. Environmentalists just landed a very, very big ally in their crusade………………………………Full Article: Source

Norway’s $900bn sovereign wealth fund told to reduce coal assets

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Finance committee agrees fund which owns 1.3% of all listed companies globally should sell stakes in firms generating more than a third of income from coal. Norway’s $900bn sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, should cut its exposure to the global coal industry and sell stakes in firms that focus on the sector, a key parliamentary committee said on Wednesday.
The finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion that the fund, which owns about 1.3% of all listed companies globally, should sell stakes in firms that generate more than 30% of their output or revenues from coal-related activities. Already under pressure from Norway’s political establishment, the fund has been selling down its coal portfolio in recent quarters and said its holdings were already small……………………………………Full Article: Source

Norwegian sovereign wealth fund to reduce coal investments

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s parliament on Wednesday reached an agreement that the country’s sovereign wealth fund should sell shares in all companies in its portfolio which generate more than 30 percent of their revenues from coal. The agreement was accepted by all parties at a meeting of the Norwegian parliament’s finance committee and will be formally adopted by the legislature on June 5, according to English-language digital news publisher The Local.
“This is a great victory for the climate,” said Torstein Svedt Solberg from Norway’s Labor Party, who acted as the rapporteur for the negotiations. “Coal is in class of its own and is the source responsible for the largest emissions of greenhouse gases.”…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Funds feel heat of coal and tar divestment drive

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund and the Church of England are among recent high-profile sellers. But some of the money managers running the more than $27 trillion in assets held globally in mutual funds say divestment as a tool to address climate change is too simplistic in most cases. Most argue it can leave fewer investors at a company who are committed to steering management in the desired direction.
Given that, a mass exodus of long-term investors such as pension funds from holding certain stock and debt assets could end up hurting the chance of positive investor-led change.”Fundamentally, it is a shareholder choice to buy or sell … What this may mean is the transfer away from shareholders who might have a grown-up dialogue with us about the climate change challenge towards people who may be less bothered about that………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs must grasp ’substantial’ greenfield opportunities

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pension and sovereign wealth funds will in future play a significantly bigger role in building urban spaces in emerging economies, despite the associated regulatory risk, the head of a leading think tank has predicted.
Sony Kapoor, managing director at Re-Define, pointed towards India’s plans to amend construction regulation and allow industrial corridors as offering “very substantial opportunities” for investors willing to work closely with governments in emerging markets. “We are seeing increasing three-way collaborations between experts in greenfield urban developments, governments and large long-term investors,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah debuts ethical Islamic bonds with annual sales planned

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s state-owned sovereign wealth fund is about to test appetite for the nation’s first socially responsible Islamic bonds and plans to issue such debt annually. Khazanah Nasional Bhd will start marketing as much as RM150 million (US$42 million) of the seven-year sukuk today, Chief Financial Officer Mohd Izani Ghani said in a May 14 interview in Kuala Lumpur.
The offering will fund 20 schools in Malaysia, he said, adding that future sale options may include healthcare and affordable housing. The world’s biggest Shariah-compliant debt market is setting a precedent for Socially Responsible Investment sukuk after pioneering Islamic finance 30 years ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah to test market with Malaysia’s first ethical sukuk

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional on Monday launched the country’s first sustainable and responsible sukuk (SRI) with a RM1 billion bond programme. Khazanah will price the first issuance next week: a seven-year RM100 million sukuk that will fund the rollout of 20 new government schools this year.
It hopes to raise at least RM150 million annually by issuing sukuk from the 25-year programme, which has a preliminary credit rating of AAA by Kuala-Lumpur based RAM ratings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Grain listing in shape with COFCO, CIC venture

Posted on 18 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

COFCO Corp, China’s largest food company, is setting up a joint venture with sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp, in preparation of a full listing for its recently acquired grain, oil and sugar assets. The cooperation with COFCO is also in line with CIC’s plans.
COFCO, also known as China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp, is the country’s biggest grain trader. It acquired Dutch grain company Nidera BV and Hong Kong-based Noble Agri last year, giving it direct access to South American grain and oilseed supplies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cofco Joins With China Wealth Fund to Create Global Grain Trader

Posted on 15 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Cofco Corp., China’s largest food company, joined forces with the country’s $650 billion sovereign wealth fund to create a global grain trading house. Cofco and China Investment Corp. set up a joint venture named Cofco International as a “platform for international agriculture investment,” the food company said Thursday in a statement. Cofco owns 80.1 percent and CIC the rest, it said, without giving financial details.
The partnership will help Cofco to integrate the trading businesses it acquired last year, when it snapped up 51 percent stakes in Noble Group Ltd.’s grain arm and the Netherlands’ Nidera BV. The acquisitions, giving Cofco large operations in Latin America and eastern Europe, will allow the state-owned company to compete with the biggest grain suppliers………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC to set up venture to run agricultural businesses

Posted on 13 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s largest grain trader COFCO is setting up a venture with sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) to control COFCO’s investments in Dutch trader Nidera and Noble Group Ltd’s agribusiness. The venture could increase CIC’s exposure to the agricultural sector, where the $653-billion fund has said it was eyeing more investments to help China get a bigger foothold in the food industry.
Noble, one of Asia’s biggest commodities trading firms, has been under scrutiny this year for its accounting methods after previously unknown Iceberg Research alleged the company had inflated asset values by billions of dollars. Noble has staunchly defended itself against the accusations. CIC owns 9.4 percent of Noble, after selling the equivalent of 4.5 percent of the commodity trader in September last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s $900 Billion Wealth Fund Warns Miners of Coal Discount

Posted on 13 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund warned mining companies they could be in for a valuation discount amid growing investor opposition to coal production. “Systematic divestment programs may introduce a ‘coal discount’ within the mining sector,” Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages the fund, said in a letter to the biggest miners it holds stakes in.
The fund said it expects the miners “will be motivated to identify the anticipated costs of separating the mining of coal from the company’s mining operations and to disclose any timeline under consideration.” The Feb. 5 letter, signed by Chief Executive Yngve Slyngstad, as well as a separate Feb. 4 letter sent to utilities, both mentioned in a parliamentary hearing this month, were obtained by Bloomberg through a freedom of information request. NBIM declined to say which or how many companies it had sent the letters to………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China, Russia Form $2 Billion Agricultural Investment Fund

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China and Russia agreed to launch a $2 billion investment fund to develop agricultural projects in the two countries and set up a free-trade zone between their key farming belts, the state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund said Friday.
The move broadens China’s search for a diverse global breadbasket to supply its sharply rising demand for food. It marks a sharper pivot toward Russia and accelerates a drive that has seen the Asian giant spend billions of dollars to acquire food-producing companies abroad as well as cultivate farming producers like Argentina and Ukraine………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway fund cuts pure-play coal stakeby 41% in Q1

Posted on 07 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has reduced its pure-play coalmining holdings again, cutting its stake to just $A83m of the $A1.12tn fund, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the newspaper, the holdings are now just about one-fifth of its late 2013 pure-play coal holdings, but the fund still holds about $20bn in utilities shares and $6bn in diversified mining company stocks, both of which may include coal operations.
The changes come amid concerns about the sustainability of pure-play coalminers’ business models, the Journal reports, with Norwegian politicians in a continuing debate about whether to restrict the giant fund’s investments in fossil fuel industries, particularly with the UN climate summit looming in Paris later this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway request for miners to dump coal shows climate fears are on the rise

Posted on 07 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world biggest sovereign wealth fund’s decision to ask top mining companies about the possibility of spinning off coal assets underscores increasing pressure on producers of the fossil fuel to prepare for a low-carbon future.
Norges Bank Investment Management, managing Norway’s $US900 billion ($1.13 trillion) fund, wrote to the biggest miners and “raised the question of spinning off coal mining,” Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad told Norway’s parliament Monday. It “requested plans for transition to low-carbon energy systems,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Wealth Fund Letter Shows Pressure on Miners to Dump Coal

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The biggest sovereign wealth fund’s decision to ask top mining companies about the possibility of spinning off coal assets underscores increasing pressure on producers of the fossil fuel to prepare for a low-carbon future.
Norges Bank Investment Management, managing Norway’s $900 billion fund, wrote to the biggest miners and “raised the question of spinning off coal mining,” Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad told Norway’s parliament Monday. It “requested plans for transition to low-carbon energy systems,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Norges Bank Investment Management ditches coal

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s biggest, informed parliament yesterday it has exited most of its holdings in pure-play coalmining companies, as politicians of the Scandinavian nation debate whether to restrict or even ban it from investing in certain fossil-fuel industries.
Norges Bank Investment Management, which runs the fund under the supervision of Norway’s central bank, said it held 500 million Norwegian kroner ($83m) in pure-play coalmining companies at the end of the first quarter, roughly one fifth of the 2.6 billion kroner it held as of late 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nordic Funds Cut U.S. Oil, Coal Investments on Climate Concern

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Slumping commodity prices and growing public concern over climate change have pushed Nordic funds that control $1.3 trillion in investments to cut support for U.S. fossil-fuel companies led by the oil producer EOG Resources Inc. and the coal miner Peabody Energy Corp.
The investors, including Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund and Nordea Bank AB from Sweden, have also sold off holdings in Devon Energy Corp., Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and the utility American Electric Power Inc., according to research from Bloomberg Intelligence………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Members of three Danish pension funds vote to divest from fossil fuels

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Academics, civil engineers and architects in Denmark have voted in favour of their pension funds selling off coal and high risk oil and gas investments, because of the role of fossil fuels in driving climate change. Together the six pension funds for Danish professionals cover 200,000 people, about 5% of all workers, and have €32bn (£23bn) of assets.
The region’s biggest fund manager Nordea and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, have sold out of dozens of coal companies. On Monday, Norway’s £580bn sovereign wealth fund said it had cut by 40% its investments in companies whose sole business is coal mining and also suggested to general mining companies, in which the fund has much bigger stakes, that they spin off their coal assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Oil Fund Sheds More Coal Assets

Posted on 05 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s biggest, informed parliament on Monday it has exited most of its holdings in pure-play coal mining companies, as lawmakers of the Scandinavian nation debate whether to restrict or even ban it from investing in certain fossil-fuel industries.
Norges Bank Investment Management, which runs the fund under the supervision of Norway’s central bank, said it held 500 million Norwegian kroner ($65.79 million) in pure-play coal mining companies at the end of the first quarter, roughly one fifth of the 2.6 billion kroner it held as of late 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund slashes coal investments after criticism

Posted on 05 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, has reduced the value of its coal mining portfolio by almost 40 percent in the first quarter, its head told parliament on Monday. Environmental groups and some Norwegian politicians have accused the fund of having too large an exposure to coal and not making enough use of its influence to reduce carbon emissions.
As of March 31 the fund had coal mining assets worth 493 million crowns ($3.75 million), down from 805 million at the end of 2014. The fund owns assets worth 31 billion crowns in general mining, 109 billion in power production and 228 billion in oil and gas production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aust fund tops Global Climate Index

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australian super funds on average are managing climate change risk well, with Local Government Super topping a list of the world’s top-500 asset owners. BUT the Future Fund, Telstra Super and Asgard scored poorly on this year’s Global Climate Index.
On average, Australian funds come in second behind Norway in the Assets Owners Disclosure Project’s annual report. Local Government Super reclaimed top spot in 2014/15 after slipping to second last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s largest sovereign wealth fund takes stand against deforestation

Posted on 22 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global — the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund — is adopting standards to avoid investing in companies linked to tropical deforestation, sending a strong signal that forest destruction is not an acceptable practice for responsible businesses, reports Rainforest Foundation Norway.
Conducting an analysis of the Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global’s (GPFG) annual report, Rainforest Foundation Norway finds that while the fund still invests 137 billion Norwegian kroner ($19.7 billion) in sectors tied to deforestation, it has strengthened its policies to reduce exposure to companies that destroy forests…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund backs more focus on climate change at BP, Shell

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, said on Wednesday it would back a proposal from shareholders of BP and Royal Dutch Shell for further information from the companies on risks and opportunities associated with climate change.
The $885 billion Fund, which invests revenues from Norway’s offshore oil and gas production, disclosed its voting intentions for the first time ahead of the companies’ shareholders meeting, in line with its previously announced strategy to increase transparency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Go greener: Norway to clean up sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway said Friday it would bar its state pension fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, from investing in the worst climate-polluting companies. In its annual white book on managing the fund, the right-wing government proposed to “introduce a new criterion to exclude companies whose conduct to an unacceptable degree entail greenhouse gas emissions.”
The proposal did not mention any companies by name. The new rule is in line with experts’ recommendations in a December report, though its conclusions had left environmentalists and the political opposition disappointed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Opposition Pushes for Sovereign Fund to Exit Coal

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A six-party majority in Norway’s parliament aims to negotiate a deal that would force the country’s sovereign-wealth fund to divest from coal this year, against the advice of the minority government, the parties’ spokesmen told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Parliament was expected to decide last year to ban the $885 billion fund from investing in coal-intensive companies, but postponed it, pending a review of the fund’s climate strategies. The review and the government advised against coal divestment, but spokesmen from all six opposition parties said Friday that they were still ready to discuss the move………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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