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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Category | Ethical/Green Investments more

Old Mutual, SWF to invest in Nigerian real estate, agriculture

Posted on 15 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Anglo-South African financial services firm Old Mutual and Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund on Friday signed agreements to set up two funds to invest in real estate and agriculture in Africa’s most populous nation. Old Mutual and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) said they would jointly raise a $500 million fund to invest in real estate and another $200 million to spend on agriculture projects in Nigeria.
The West African nation is in the middle of its worst crisis in decades as a slump in oil revenues hammers public finances and the naira. Gross domestic product shrank in the first quarter and the central bank governor has said a recession is likely………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah eyes SunEdison’s solar assets

Posted on 05 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hinduja Group, the industrial conglomerate controlled by four billionaire brothers, and Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd are among parties vying for SunEdison Inc’s Indian solar assets, people familiar with the matter said.
The Indian projects have also drawn interest from Mumbai- based Tata Power Co., domestic clean power developer Greenko Energies Pvt. and Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries Ltd, according to the people. A deal could value the operations at about US$700mil including debt, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway To Drill For Oil To Fund Its Green Spending

Posted on 03 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norwegian government officials announced Monday they intend to fight global warming by spending money derived from oil and gas drilling on green projects. The country is pouring lucrative subsidies into the electric car market from its oil and gas funded $890 billion sovereign wealth fund, and which they plan to use to become carbon neutral by 2030, ban gasoline-fueled cars and spend billions helping poor countries go green.
Norway has already made about $178,000 off of the country’s oil and gas deposits per Norwegian. “We know there is a paradox,” Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s climate and energy minister, admitted in a press release.”We have been living well from oil and gas. But there is no country in the world that has done more to undermine the oil and gas industry than Norway.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Future Fund invests in solar and wind power plants

Posted on 02 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Future Fund has invested in the development of large scale solar and wind power plants in Australia through its fund manager QIC. It is the $117.4 billion sovereign wealth fund’s first investment in its QIC infrastructure mandate, after nearly four years.
“The Future Fund have been very patient through those four years as we tried to find deals to put into that mandate. We’ve worked very, very closely with them so it’s wonderful to finally be able to put some money into the ground for the Future Fund,” Damien Frawley, chief executive of QIC, said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investment funds increase interest in Europe’s offshore wind farms-study

Posted on 28 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $863 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, for instance said in April it had sold shares in 52 coal-dependent companies as part of a policy to fight climate change.
Denmark’s PKA pension fund was the largest institutional investor in European offshore wind in the first half of the year, accounting for just over 11 percent of all investments in connected offshore wind capacity. Other institutional investors included infrastructure fund Global Infrastructure Partners and Denmark’s industrial workers’ pension fund Industriens Pension………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia’s AGL and state-owned funds establish renewables fund

Posted on 27 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s second-largest energy retailer AGL Energy Ltd said on Wednesday it had set up the nation’s largest renewable energy fund, worth A$2-3 billion, with Australia’s sovereign wealth fund and a Queensland government-owned fund.
The Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) plans to develop 1000MW of renewable energy and will acquire two existing AGL solar plants, which together produce 155MW, AGL said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pua: 1MDB ’social welfare’ paid with taxpayers debt

Posted on 26 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s claim that 1MDB had contributed immensely to social welfare is a “farce” as it is funded by debt that is borne by taxpayers, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua says. Najib yesterday praised 1MDB Foundation for donating RM10.4 million to sponsor 1,100 pilgrims to perform the Haj this year.
In fact, Pua said, 1MDB Foundation was set up to to mask the billions in losses that have resulted in an international anti-money laundering action. He said 1MDB has not seen a sen of profit since it was set up six years ago, and is using the “social welfare” programmes as a “public relations exercise”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Big funds push back against activist investor settlements

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After years of support for companies that hand board seats to activists to avoid a bruising public fight, some of the world’s largest institutional investors are pushing back.
BlackRock Inc , the world’s largest asset manager, and Norges Bank Investment Management, Norway’s $872 billion sovereign wealth fund are among the major funds resisting, encouraging companies to consult them before responding to an activist………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian Government Pension Fund excludes 10 SEA-companies

Posted on 14 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian central bank (Norges Bank) has, as the first in the world, excluded 52 companies from its Government Pension Fund based on the companies inexpedient use of coal in their business activities. Philippine Aboitiz Power (AP) and 7 Chinese and 2 Hong Kong companies was hit by the exclusion.
The decision to exclude companies that doesn’t live up to the ethical guidelines determined by the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund. 120 companies are right now listed for reasons as corruption, violations on human rights, production of tobacco, nuclear weapons etc………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund drops Aboitiz due to coal use

Posted on 12 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian central bank, Norges Bank, has dropped 52 companies including Aboitiz Power from its Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) because of the companies’ business activities in coal. The list includes 22 firms from the United States;seven each from China and India; three from Japan; two each from Chile, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia; and one each from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Poland and Greece.
“Norges Bank has decided to exclude 52 companies from the Government Pension Fund Global after an assessment of the new product-based coal criterion. The exclusions follow a first round of analysis by Norges Bank Investment Management. Further exclusions will follow in 2016,” a statement from the bank said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bill English: Super Fund, ACC investment in fast food not up to us

Posted on 07 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Finance Minister has ruled out interfering in the investment decisions of the Super Fund and ACC. It has been revealed the agencies are putting around $260 million of taxpayers’ money into Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds and other fast food companies.
“The New Zealand Super Fund I think would have among the toughest ethical investment guidelines of any sovereign wealth fund - they need to because they’re government-owned.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sahrawi Commission Hails Norway Divestment

Posted on 04 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Western Sahara Petroleum and Minerals Commission welcomes the decision of Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund to withdraw its investments in companies Cairn Energy of the UK and Kosmos Energy of the US for their involvement in the looting the wealth of through illegal and unethical investment operations in the occupied part of Western Sahara.
According to a news release of the Commission, “Western Sahara Petroleum and Minerals Commission honors the moral and courageous position that the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Norway taken to halt investment in the occupied territories of Western Sahara in accordance with international law and in line with the ethical standards of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Norway………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund drops investment in Cairn and Kosmos

Posted on 29 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $835bn oil fund has excluded Cairn Energy of the UK and Kosmos Energy of the US from its portfolio over their continuing investment in oil exploration off the coast of Western Sahara.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund was one of the biggest investors in Cairn with a 2.85 per cent stake at the end of last year. It had a smaller 0.8 per cent stake in Kosmos, which is based in Dallas and has exploration licences in several African countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian sovereign fund divests companies over Western Sahara

Posted on 29 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund has divested two companies due to their involvement with oil extraction in Western Sahara. Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), responsible for the Government Pension Fund Global, said it heeded a recommendation by the Council of Ethics to sell its stakes in Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy, worth a combined NOK475m (€49.6m) at the end of 2015.
Referring to the Council’s recommendation, NBIM cited the risk of “particularly serious violations of fundamental ethical norms”, the reason given in the past when the NOK7.1trn fund sold its stakes in companies active in Western Sahara………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar in talks for $800 mln loan to fund solar project

Posted on 29 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A consortium led by Abu Dhabi’s Masdar is aiming to raise an $800 million loan to help fund the building of the 800-megawatt (MW) third phase of Dubai’s solar park, the company’s chief executive said.
The consortium is in talks with banks including National Bank of Abu Dhabi, First Gulf Bank and Union National Bank to provide project finance, said Mohamed al-Ramahi, chief executive of green energy firm Masdar, wholly owned by Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund files complaint against VW over emissions scandal

Posted on 28 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has filed a complain against Volkswagen as part of a joint legal action following the carmaker’s emissions scandal.
The world’s largest wealth fund said the complaint was filed to the Braunschweig District Court in Germany and is part of the lawsuit filed by law firm Quinn Emanuel on behalf of institutional funds in connection with the scandal. The fund is Volkswagen’s largest shareholder without a seat on its advisory board………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian pension fund dumps Petrobras over corruption

Posted on 24 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s largest pension fund has blacklisted Petrobras over concerns that the state-controlled oil company at the centre of a Brazilian bribery scandal is prone to further corruption problems beyond its home market.
KLP, which oversees NKr553bn ($67bn) of assets, said it would no longer invest in Petrobras due to the “unacceptable risk” of future problems at the company. KLP is the first large investor to publicly blacklist Petrobras since a vast bribery scandal emerged at the company in 2014, costing it at least R$6.2bn ($1.7bn) in corruption-related losses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwaitis (KIA) Want Out of French State Owned Nuclear Group Areva

Posted on 16 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Reuters (13 June 2016) citing “La Lettre de l’Expansion” reported that the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) wants to sell its stake in French State owned nuclear group Areva. Reportedly, KIA said that they invested in Areva “based on incorrect company accounts“.
According to Reuters, KIA paid 600 million euros ($676 million) for their 4.82% stake in 2010, but the value of Areva shares has declined by 90% due to years of losses by Areva. The French state (taxpayer) will bail-out Areva with 5 billion euros. The nuclear reactor part of Areva will be taken over by French State owned EDF in either late 2016 or early 2017………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Greenko raises $230 million from ADIA, GIC

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Greenko Energy Holdings, one of India’s leading renewable energy firms, has secured $230 million in total new funds from an entity owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and an affiliate of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.
ADIA will invest $150 million, Greenko said in a statement. It also disclosed for the first time that GIC agreed to invest $80 million in the business in March. The funds will contribute to the continued growth of Greenko’s business through the development of new renewable energy projects, it said, including expansion of existing wind farms………………………………………..Full Article: Source

12 Swedish big shots have been blacklisted by Norway SWF

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The enormous Norwegian sovereign wealth fund have blacklisted twelve Swedes. In essence, this means that the fund opposes them as members of the board of the companies the fund owns shares in. According to the Swedish daily Dagens Industri, the fund has in 2016 voted against twelve Swedes as members of the board.
The fund, commonly referred to as The Oil Fund, manages the wealth produced by the Norwegian oil. It is absolutely huge: On average, the fund owns approximately 1.3 percent of the world’s listed companies. Over 700 billion dollars are managed by the fund, and its Swedish investments amount to approximately 15 billion dollars………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pressure on Norway fund to divest from coal

Posted on 24 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund may be forced to step up divestments of coal companies and could face a wider ban on investments in other fossil fuels.
A majority of parties in Norway’s parliament want to tighten guidelines that prevent the $850bn fund from owning companies that base more than 30% of their activities or revenues on thermal coal, according to a group of legislators including opposition Labor, Norway’s biggest party. Adjustments could come as soon as next year, said Torstein Tvedt Solberg, who represents Labor on the finance committee………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Faces Wider Ban on Coal Investments

Posted on 23 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund may be forced to step up divestments of coal companies and could face a wider ban on investments in other fossil fuels such as oil sands.
A majority of parties in Norway’s parliament want to tighten guidelines that prevent the $850 billion fund from owning companies that base more than 30 percent of their activities or revenues on thermal coal, according to a group lawmakers including opposition Labor, Norway’s biggest party. Adjustments could come as soon as next year, said Torstein Tvedt Solberg, who represents Labor on the Finance Committee………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway sovereign wealth fund will seek to join class action against Volkswagen

Posted on 17 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund will seek to join a class-action lawsuit in Germany against Volkswagen following revelations the carmaker rigged the exhaust systems of 11 million diesel-powered cars worldwide to pass official emissions tests.
Norges Bank Investment Management “intends to join a legal action against Volkswagen arising out of that the company provided incorrect emissions data,” spokeswoman Marthe Skaar said in an e-mailed statement. NBIM manages the assets of Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, which according to data compiled by Bloomberg owns 1.64% of Volkswagen. NBIM said it’s acting “to safeguard” the sovereign wealth fund’s holdings in the carmaker……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Temasek Raises Health-Care Bets, Adds More ADRs of JD.com

Posted on 17 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings Pte built holdings of U.S. drugmakers and health-care companies in the first quarter as the Singapore investment firm expands bets on industries that will benefit from rising life expectancies and a growing middle class in emerging markets.
The state-owned investor bought American depositary receipts of drugmaker Beigene Ltd. and added to holdings of health-care companies including Gilead Sciences Inc., Illumina Inc. and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., according to a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund to sue Volkswagen over emissions scandal

Posted on 16 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, said on Sunday it plans to join the class-action lawsuits filed against Volkswagen AG over the German automaker’s emissions scandal.
“Norges Bank Investment Management intends to join a legal action against Volkswagen arising out of that the company provided incorrect emissions data,” Marthe Skaar, the fund’s spokeswoman, said in a statement emailed to Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Muslim wealth funds stalk halal food acquisitions

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The most representative case is without a doubt that of the Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which manages assets worth $304bn. In 2008, the fund spent $1bn on acquiring an investment arm specialising in the agriculture and livestock sector: Hassad Food.
With an investment horizon of 50 to 100 years, the vehicle’s mandate is to make investments in the agrifood sector so as to secure the supply of the country’s halal food in the long term and to obtain juicy returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Wealth Fund Turns Up Climate Heat on Exxon, Chevron

Posted on 04 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $872-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, said it would press U.S. oil majors ExxonMobil and Chevron to do more to report on the risks of climate change. The fund said on Tuesday it would vote in favor of shareholder proposals, opposed by both companies’ boards, which would require them to report more fully about the risks and opportunities of a changing climate.
Royal Dutch Shell and BP adopted similar policies last year, following shareholder pressure, it said. Exxon and Chevron both say they are already doing enough to report on climate risks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund joins pension funds on climate-risk reporting at Exxon Mobil

Posted on 04 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, plans to vote in favor of shareholder proposals at Exxon Mobil Corp. sponsored by major pension funds calling for climate-change reporting and proxy access, said a statement posted on the website of Norges Bank Investment Management, which oversees the assets and proxy voting of the 7.08 trillion Norwegian kroner ($877 billion) fund.
The sovereign wealth fund held 35.3 million Exxon Mobil shares, as of Dec. 31, according to NBIM’s 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The shares were valued at $3.1 billion in Tuesday’s midday trading of Exxon Mobil at $87.93 a share………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Health Ministry, NSIA Launch Healthcare Investments

Posted on 04 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) have launched a comprehensive healthcare investment program covering all the geo-political zones of the country.
The aim of the investment program is to catalyze private sector investment to bridge the healthcare infrastructure gap, contribute to the reduction of the disease burden and facilitate improvement of Healthcare in the country, NSIA said in a statement. It said, in addition, the program aimed to reverse the outflow of the over $1 billion per year spent by Nigerians on medical tourism………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign funds ignore climate risk

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World’s largest investors warned that environmental change will affect returns. The world’s largest government-backed investment funds have been accused of ignoring the risks climate change poses to their portfolios despite warnings it could hurt returns and make high-carbon investments worthless.
Research from the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, a non-profit organisation, has found no evidence that the sovereign wealth funds in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, China, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong have taken any action to factor climate change risks into their investment decisions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australian super fund comes second in global green rankings

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some of Australia’s largest superannuation funds rank among the best in the world in protecting their members from the adverse effects of climate change. In a survey of superannuation funds and other “asset” managers, such as insurers and sovereign wealth funds, the Australian industry super fund for NSW public servants, Local Government Super, ranks second in the world.
It was beaten to first place by UK-based pension fund, The Environment Agency Pension Fund. The $120 billion Future Fund, Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, ranks No. 93 in the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

These Companies Just Got Banned From the World’s Biggest Wealth Fund

Posted on 19 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Back in June, the Norwegian government confirmed that it would sell off coal investments from its $900 billion sovereign wealth fund—the largest in the world. Late last week the unit of Norway’s central bank that manages the fund identified which companies would be cut. Of those named, 22 are based in the United States, including American Electric Power and Peabody Energy, which filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday.
Seven companies are from China. The bank said more exclusions will occur later this year. When it was announced earlier this year, the fossil fuel divestment was the largest of its kind and was expected to affect 122 companies worldwide and $9 billion to $10 billion worth of investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dumping tobacco cost Norwegian oil fund $1.9bn

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund’s loss may force investors to reconsider divestment from the sector. The Norwegian oil fund’s decision to dump tobacco companies has cost the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund $1.9bn in missed profits over the past decade.
The losses have prompted hardened campaigners for tobacco divestment to admit the economic arguments for shunning companies like Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco are flawed, potentially leading other big investors to review their exclusion policies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund drops 52 companies linked to coal

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund has unveiled the first list of miners and power producers to be excluded from its portfolio following a ban on coal investments.
The 52 companies being barred include American Electric Power Co. Inc., China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., Whitehaven Coal Ltd., Tata Power Co. and Peabody Energy Corp., according to a statement from Norges Bank Investment Management, the unit of Norway’s central bank that manages the world’s biggest wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fossil fuelled fund not to invest in fossil fuel coal

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

However has hit the coal market companies as Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which is world’s biggest with $860 billion under management announced that it will no longer invest into 52 companies worldwide as they are too reliant on coal. These names include Drax in UK, Dynergy and FirstEnergy in US, Reliance and Tata Power in India.
We don’t want to get into specific names but the reason behind. According to the fund, future of coal is finite and future is renewables. World is steadily, especially the developed countries are steadily decarbonizing their energy sources………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund drops 52 coal companies

Posted on 15 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, has excluded 52 coal-related companies after new ethical guidelines went into effect barring it from investing in such groups, Norway’s central bank said on Thursday. In June 2015, parliament agreed to pull the fund out of mining or energy groups which derive more than 30 percent of their sales or activities from the coal business.
The new directive went into effect on February 1. The fund, fuelled by Norway’s state oil revenues and currently worth around 7.11 trillion kroner (765.5 billion euros, $864 billion), has therefore sold its stakes in 52 companies, most of them American and Chinese, including Peabody Energy, the biggest US coal producer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Pension fund not to invest in CIL, NTPC, Reliance Power

Posted on 15 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Finance Ministry determines GPFG’s investment strategy, after advice from Norges Bank Investment Management and discussions in Parliament among others. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s biggest, today said it has excluded 7 Indian firms from its portfolio including NTPC, CIL, Tata Power and Reliance Power.
The fund, managed by Norges Bank Investment Management on behalf of Norway’s Ministry of Finance, has in total excluded 52 firms which derive a “significant” portion of their revenues from coal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Renewables still out of scope for Norway pension fund

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) will not be investing in renewable energy, the Minister of Finance said today, turning down a proposal for the expansion of the fund’s reach. “The GPFG has a financial target, and is not an instrument for promoting state investment in developing countries or renewable energy,” Siv Jensen said.
He noted that the Norwegian government is considering the establishment of a limited company to invest in firms that develop and use green technologies. More on this matter will be said in the revised 2016 budget, the minister noted. Renewable energy has been suggested as one of the possible investment areas under a proposal to allow the sovereign wealth fund to take interests in unlisted real estate and infrastructure………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia’s ‘future’ fund should not consider financing the energy projects of the past

Posted on 04 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It was all over the news in India. The Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley would be meeting Future Fund chairman Peter Costello to discuss using the Fund to help finance Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.
There was no announcement of the meeting in Australia, but the questions must be asked: how should Australia’s sovereign wealth fund be used, and should it, a “future” fund, be considering the energy projects of the past? The prospect of Costello dedicating sovereign funds to the massive coal mine in the Galilee Basin is so misguided………………………………………..Full Article: Source

$1 trillion wasted on unneeded coal while Future Fund considers backing Adani

Posted on 04 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There is almost $1 trillion in the pipeline for new coal developments, even as the sector is facing structural decline, a new report from The Sierra Club, Greenpeace and CoalSwarm has revealed.
And in Australia, as investors back away from Adani’s controversial Galilee Basin coal mine and superannuation companies haemorrhage members’ money on fossil fuel investments, our $118 billion sovereign wealth fund, The Future Fund, is considering bankrolling the project………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund axes 11 firms over deforestation

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund last year dropped 11 companies over deforestation, including palm oil firms clearing rainforests in Indonesia, with one firm accused of using fire to the clear the land.
The decision by Norway’s US$830 billion (S$1.14 trillion) government pension fund underscores the growing clout the finance sector has in pushing companies to improve their environmental practices. Among the 11 were Genting Berhad and IJM Corp of Malaysia, and South Korea’s Posco and its subsidiary Daewoo International Corp………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway takes pathway to ethical investment with human rights policy

Posted on 21 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The human rights strategy adopted by the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund shows that long-term gain relies on social and environmental sustainability. We may be on the brink of a real breakthrough in responsible investing thanks to a new policy on human rights adopted by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund.
Since 2013, a substantial segment of the palm oil industry and the buyers of their product have adopted strong forest conservation policies, often described as “No deforestation, no peat, no exploitation”. NGO campaigns and consumer reactions have built up the pressure. But when the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), withdrew its investment in 23 palm oil companies in 2012, the news sent shockwaves through the industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund dumps Pimco and BTG Pactual

Posted on 14 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $830 billion oil fund has severed ties with Pimco, the bond house, and BTG Pactual, the Brazilian bank, as part of an overhaul of how the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund is run. The oil fund, which is considered one of the world’s most prestigious investors and which has become a prized client for big asset management companies, has invested with Pimco since at least 2013.
The sovereign fund pulled its money from the Californian bond house last year after widespread investor fears took hold about underperformance at some of Pimco’s largest fixed income funds and the acrimonious departure of its founder, Bill Gross, in late 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund against killer robots

Posted on 14 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ethics watchdog for Norway’s $830-billion sovereign wealth fund is taking the unusual step of warning companies against developing the next generation of weapons — robots that do not require human intervention to kill.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which invests the income from Norway’s oil industry, is so big that it owns 1.3 percent of the world’s listed company equity. It is required by law to restrict investments in companies on ethical grounds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fine tuning and tweaks keep the world’s biggest ethical investor in clover

Posted on 14 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ethics watchdog for Norway’s €765bn wealth fund will focus this year on identifying corruption in telecoms, arms and energy companies and expects to recommend that an increasing number of firms across all sectors be barred from investment.
By the end of 2016, the fund, which invests income from Norway’s oil and gas production, could add companies to its blacklist for emitting too much climate-changing gas, said the chairman of its independent ethics panel, Johan H Andresen. The ethics panel will also look into allegations of human rights abuses in Qatar’s building sector, Malaysia’s electronics goods industry and textile factories in some Asian countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Unlike Singapore, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund acts decisively against environmentally unfriendly companies

Posted on 14 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, Government Pension Fund Global, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, dropped 11 companies in 2015 over their connections to forest destruction. Meanwhile in Singapore, our sovereign wealth funds, GIC and Temasek Holdings (TH), operate on a purely commercial basis in order to maximise long-term risk-adjusted returns.
Responding to Workers’ Party member Leon Perera’s question in Parliament if the Government monitors GIC and TH have investments in haze-linked companies; and if so, how much are the total investments of GIC and TH in these companies……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Fund Not Immune From U.S. Securities Fraud Suit

Posted on 14 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A U.S. court has ruled that a sovereign wealth fund is subject to U.S. securities fraud claims when U.S. investors rely on misrepresentations by the fund. Foreign investors can bring a claim if they can show a U.S. investor was harmed.
This recent decision offers reassurance to companies doing business with sovereign wealth funds that they have a forum for the resolution of disputes in the U.S. when the fund’s conduct “causes a direct effect in the United States.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Drops 11 Firms over Deforestation

Posted on 11 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global is divesting from the companies because of their involvement in rainforest destruction. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, has dropped 11 companies from its portfolio over their links to deforestation.
The GPFG, which oversee’s US$828 billion worth of funds, released its annual report for 2015 on Wednesday, revealing that it had excluded six palm oil companies, four pulp and paper companies, and one coal company based on their involvement in irresponsible deforestation practices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Create Social Wealth Funds! It’s Time To Halt The Great Public Asset Boot Sale

Posted on 11 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Britain’s public assets are now the subject of a giant boot sale. The great rolling privatisation juggernaut not only includes the £4bn Green Investment Bank, and the bailed-out Lloyds Bank but is now eyeing up assets like Channel 4 and the Met Office. The government hopes that together they will deliver £32bn in revenue this year alone from the sell-off.
Privatisation was originally sold as the route to Mrs Thatcher’s much vaunted ‘popular capitalism’. Yet shares bought by the public through privatisation have mostly been sold immediately. Far from spreading wealth, decades of sell-offs have merely skewed the economy even more heavily in favour of a few private owners helping to fuel Britain’s widening wealth and income gap………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s mega-fund sells coal-linked firms in climate drive

Posted on 10 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $830-billion sovereign wealth fund pulled out of 27 firms with links to coal last year as part of a policy to combat climate change, prompting campaigners to urge other big investors to follow suit.
The fund, the world’s biggest, also said it sold holdings in 11 companies because of concerns about the destruction of tropical forests to make way for palm oil plantations or fast-growing trees used for paper and pulp. It did not name the companies it dropped………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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