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India’s ReNew Power sells stake to Abu Dhabi sovereign fund

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Indian solar and wind energy company ReNew Power Ventures Pvt Ltd sold a “significant minority stake” to a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for $200 million, the company said in a statement.
ADIA’s investment was part of a broader $265-million fundraising by new and existing investors in ReNew Power Ventures, it added. Financial adviser Rothschild advised the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek-controlled Olam refinances with $1B in new loans

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agri-trader Olam International has secured $1 billion in funding to refinance existing debt, just a couple of months after Mitsubishi Corp snagged a 20 percent stake in the company.
Olam said the new revolving credit and term loan facility will comprise an $850 million 364-day revolving credit facility and a $150 million 5-year term loan. Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings owns 51.4 percent of Olam………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan joins Oman in setting up food and agribusiness fund

Posted on 27 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s biggest sovereign wealth fund has agreed with Japanese institutions to set up a joint $400 million fund that will invest in food and agribusiness industries, Omani officials said on Sunday. The fund will facilitate direct investment in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states by Japanese food and agribusiness firms, ranging from grains and feed to vegetables, milk and dairy products, logistics and research firms, they said, aiming to spend at least 35 percent of the money in Oman.
The Gulf Japan Food Fund will be owned 37.5 percent by Oman’s State General Reserve Fund. State-run Oman National Investments Development Co and Gulf Investment Corp, owned by the six GCC states, will hold a combined 12.5 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman, Japan to form $400 mln fund to invest in food sector -Omani officials

Posted on 26 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s biggest sovereign wealth fund has agreed with Japanese institutions to set up a joint $400 million fund that will invest in food and agribusiness industries, Omani officials said on Sunday. The fund will facilitate direct investment in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states by Japanese food and agribusiness firms, ranging from grains and feed to vegetables, milk and dairy products, logistics and research firms, they said, aiming to spend at least 35 percent of the money in Oman.
The Gulf Japan Food Fund will be owned 37.5 percent by Oman’s State General Reserve Fund. State-run Oman National Investments Development Co and Gulf Investment Corp, owned by the six GCC states, will hold a combined 12.5 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Fund Sets Tougher Water-Use Requirements on Companies

Posted on 23 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s largest by assets, has decided to impose tougher requirements on how businesses it invests in manage water resources. The fund, which is run by Norges Bank Investment Management, an arm of Norway’s central bank, will ask companies to come up with clear strategies and risk-management plans for water resources.
Until now, the fund only required companies to report on their water use. “We want our expectations to be very clear,” William Ambrose, a senior manager at NBIM told The Wall Street Journal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC to invest S$350m in Indian clean energy projects

Posted on 20 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An affiliate of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC will invest about £162.8 million (S$350 million) to buy over clean energy assets in India. This will be done via the proposed acquisition of Greenko Group PLC’s majority interest in Greenko Mauritius, which is the holding company for Greenko’s business in India. Greenko operations in India include wind power, run-of-river hydropower, natural gas and biomass assets.
Mr Stuart Baldwin, global head of Infrastructure at GIC, said in a statement on Monday (Oct 19): “We look forward to working closely with Greenko’s management to develop the company to be the leading owner and operator of clean energy projects in India.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Greens Build on Wealth Fund Win to Ban Oslo From Fossil Fuels

Posted on 20 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Green Party is forcing the capital city’s $9.3 billion pension manager to sell out of fossil fuel companies, building on momentum from helping re-shape guidelines for the nation’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund.
The party surged in municipal elections last month, winning 8.1 percent of votes in Oslo, making it the third largest party. They will now for the first time form a government with the Labor Party and the Socialist Left. “Oslo will take responsibility for the climate, both through our own policies and our investments,” Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, first candidate for the city’s Green Party, said in an e-mailed statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Green Party to ban Oslo pension fund from investing in fossil-fuel companies

Posted on 20 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Green Party is forcing the capital city’s $9.3 billion pension manager to sell out of fossil-fuel companies, building on momentum from helping reshape guidelines for the nation’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo.
Officials at Oslo Pensjonsforsikring AS, the city’s pension fund, are working on how they will implement the proposed ban and are compiling a list of companies the fund will need to sell, CEO Aamund Lunde said by phone. Mr. Lunde declined to say how much will be sold or how many companies would be covered………………………………………..Full Article: Source

John Hewson Attacks Coal-Loving Peter Costello Over Future Fund’s Fossil Fuel Investments

Posted on 15 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former Treasurer Peter Costello has previously said it would be “a very strange thing” for the nation’s sovereign wealth fund to divest from fossil fuels. Dr John Hewson’s not so sure. Former Liberal leader Dr John Hewson has launched a scathing attack on Peter Costello for being “wilfully blind to the risks of climate change” in his management of Australia’s massive sovereign wealth fund, even accusing the Howard-era Treasurer of “a clear breach of fiduciary duty”.
Dr Hewson is the Chair of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), a non-profit which ranks the top 1,000 asset owners for their exposure to investments that risk the climate and, increasingly, their returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Oil Fund Puts Astra International Under Observation

Posted on 14 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s central bank, which oversees Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, said it had put Indonesia’s Astra International Tbk PT under observation, after the company assured in June that it would take steps to mitigate environmental concerns. Last year the fund’s Council of Ethics had recommended the exclusion of Astra International.
However after the company said it would cease all logging and land conversion while developing a sustainability strategy, the ethics council decided to recommend placing the company under observation. The council recommended an observation period of four years to assess the impact of Astra’s new policy. Astra is the second company on the fund’s observation list, joining Alstom SA………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund to review stake in palm oil producer

Posted on 14 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund should monitor its investment in Indonesia’s Astra International to ensure its palm oil operations don’t break ethical guidelines, the Norwegian central bank said on Tuesday. The decision gives the company four years to meet the $856 billion fund’s ethical standards. If it fails, Norway could sell its 0.3 percent stake, worth $73 million according to Thomson Reuters data.
Astra International is one of the biggest companies listed on the Jakarta stock exchange, with a market value of around $18.5 billion and businesses spanning auto distribution and palm oil to mining equipment and financial services. It held a 79.7 percent stake in palm oil producer PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk as of end-June, the data shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s wealth fund said interested in Glencore agriculture sale

Posted on 12 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The sovereign wealth fund of Qatar has joined investors expressing an interest in buying a minority stake in Glencore Plc’s agriculture business, according to three people familiar with the conversations.
The talks are preliminary and a sale would take as long as six months, said the same people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Qatar Holding LLC, the direct investment arm of the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, is already the largest investor in the Swiss-based commodities trader-cum-miner, with an 8.9 per cent stake, people said earlier this week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar wealth fund said to be interested in Glencore’s agricultural business

Posted on 09 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The sovereign wealth fund of Qatar has reportedly joined investors expressing an interest in buying a minority stake in Glencore’s agricultural business, which deals in commodities such as wheat, cotton, soybeans and sugar.
Bloomberg cited people familiar with the matter as saying that talks are in the preliminary stage and a sale could take as long as six months. Qatar Holding, which is the direct investment arm of the state’s sovereign wealth fund, is already the largest investor in the London-listed commodities trader with an 8.9% stake………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund zeroes in on textile industry

Posted on 05 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ethics council that makes recommendations for the $820 billion (Dh3 trillion) Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is zeroing in on companies in textile manufacturing for breaching its standards, the head of the watchdog said. In a study of about 400 textile manufacturers the group has chosen to concentrate on “two handfuls” that it has contacted, said Johan H. Andresen, chairman of Norway’s Council on Ethics, in an interview Thursday at his office on the outskirts of Oslo.
“We will see whether we think that they are willing and able to make changes in their conduct,” he said. The world’s biggest wealth fund takes into account ethical rules encompassing human rights, some weapons production and the environment. It has excluded more than 60 companies after recommendations from the council………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BTA Bank completes buyback of common shares from Samruk-Kazyna and terminates trust management agreement

Posted on 30 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

JSC BTA Bank announces on September 28 on completion of buyback of 27,351,461,050 common shares representing 4.26% of outstanding common shares from JSC National Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna and on termination of the Trust management agreement in respect these common shares.
Buyback of common shares and its conditions were approved by the Board of Directors of BTA on 5 January 2015 based on recommendations of the extraordinary general meeting of BTA shareholders after approval of KKB and BTA integration model by shareholders. Due to buyback of common shares from Samruk-Kazyna, the Trust Management Agreement signed on 31 January 2014 between KKB as Trustee and JSC Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna as Trustor was terminated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Olam plans to go big on Africa coffee plantations

Posted on 29 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Olam International, a commodity trader controlled by investment company Temasek Holdings, plans to more than double coffee-plantation space in Africa to improve quality control there. The company, 51.4 per cent held by Temasek, targets total African coffee farmland at 5,000ha, up from 2,200ha already planted in Zambia and Tanzania, Mr Deepak Kaul, senior vice-president for coffee, said by e-mail in response to questions.
In Zambia, where Olam already has 1,200ha planted, it plans to increase estates to 2,700ha through its subsidiary, Northern Coffee, one of the biggest large-scale producers in Africa, Mr Kaul said without providing a timeframe. “As Africa is a central part of our business, we are committed to investing and expanding on the continent,” he said. Customers increasingly want “single-estate, certified and traceable coffees”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Skancke aims to make sustainability integral to asset management

Posted on 28 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Martin Skancke looks as though he is growing a beard in an attempt to look older, but his youthful looks are deceiving. Approaching his half-decade, Skancke has 20 years’ experience setting up and running sovereign wealth funds and is spearheading a campaign to make sustainable investment an indispensable part of asset management, as chair of the Principles for Responsible Investment, the UN-backed group of 1,380 investors.
His involvement with sovereign wealth funds started when he was head of the section for monetary policy and public finances at the Norwegian Ministry of Finance. As one of the few civil servants there with a background in finance, he was a natural choice to lead the development of the Government Petroleum Fund (later known as the Government Pension Fund)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar wealth fund may be down $4.6bn on VW and Glencore

Posted on 25 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund may have lost $4.6 billion in just two days from its stakes in Volkswagen and Glencore. Qatar Investment Authority, the biggest holder of VW’s preferred shares and the third-largest owner of its ordinary stock, stands to have seen €3.8 billion evaporate from its holdings in the automaker.
QIA is also the largest investor in Glencore. The ownership data are based on compilations from regulatory filings dated April 2015 in the most recent case. A QIA media representative declined to comment on the current stakes. VW and Glencore tumbled more than 15 per cent in the first two days of the week, leading slumps in European shares. The carmaker said it cheated on emissions rules in the US, while Glencore closed at a record low as metals prices sank on concerns that China’s economy is slowing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s Volkswagen stake slumps $3.73bn amidst fallout from the emissions scandal in the US

Posted on 25 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar Investment Authority, one of Volkswagen’s top shareholders, has seen the value of its holding fall by 3.35 billion euros ($3.73 billion) since the carmaker was hit by an emissions scandal at the end of last week.
Below is a table of the top five holders of Volkswagen’s preference and ordinary shares, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data, showing losses as of 1417 GMT for preferred shares, and 1423 GMT for ordinary shares………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund calls for companies to focus on energy efficiency

Posted on 25 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has called for a greater focus on energy efficiency, arguing that companies should disclose their renewable energy consumption targets and report on use of low-carbon products.
Responding to changes proposed by CDP – formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project – to its climate change questionnaire, which gathers comparative data on the water, energy and carbon footprint of around 5,000 companies, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said it welcomed the move to improve data quality………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek Cares committed S$12.2m in grants in FY2014/15

Posted on 24 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Cares, the philanthropic arm of Temasek Holdings, has committed S$31.6 million in grants to-date to fund its various social programmes. Temasek Cares’ latest annual report showed that S$12.2 million in grants was committed for FY2014 to 2015. It went to funding 15 programmes which benefited groups such as disadvantaged families, the elderly and children with special needs.
About 4,900 individuals benefitted from the various programmes. “FY2014 to 2015 saw Temasek Cares funding 15 programmes through 26 community partners that directly impacted 4,900 Singapore citizens,” said Temasek Cares chairman Richard Magnus………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Greenko to help GIC tap clean energy opportunity in India’

Posted on 21 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Clean energy company Greenko will remain an important entity for Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC to tap renewable power generation opportunities in India, Fitch Ratings said. Greenko Group Plc has signed an agreement GIC for selling its stake in Greenko Mauritius for around Rs 1,650 crore.
“Fitch believes GIC’s move will improve Greenko’s access to banking and capital markets. We also believe GIC will drive tighter risk management practices and financial policies at Greenko,” the ratings agency said in a statement……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Investing in socially responsible companies makes sense

Posted on 18 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What do CalPERS, and many of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds from Scandinavia to the Mideast have in common? They’re betting big on sustainability. In May, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a $307 billion retirement fund, said it will require its asset managers to factor environmental and social risks into their investment decisions.
Norway’s giant national sovereign wealth fund, with $890 billion in assets built off its oil and gas reserves, is divesting from companies that mine or burn coal. A majority of the world’s largest institutional investors — pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds — incorporate considerations about a business’s environmental and social track record into their investment decisions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Green Party Rise Shows Oil Economy Losing Support

Posted on 16 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Green Party, which wants to halt oil production, emerged as a winner in municipal elections, building on support that has helped shape investment guidelines for the nation’s massive wealth fund.
Since entering parliament for the first time in 2013, the Greens have spurred a shift amid lawmakers to question how the energy industry works. They were also the catalyst for Labor to gather support across eight parties to ban Norway’s $840 billion sovereign wealth fund from coal investments, a move the fund has said could trigger $6.6 billion in divestments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund could sell coal-related shares worth $6.6 bln

Posted on 07 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $828 billion sovereign wealth fund believes a new rule curtailing its investments in coal-dependent businesses could lead it to sell shares in companies across the world worth about 55 billion Norwegian crowns ($6.6 billion), it said.
Around 120 companies are likely to be affected, it said in a letter to the country’s finance ministry. Under a deal struck in parliament in June, the fund will divest from companies that get more than 30 percent of their turnover from coal, including both mining firms and power generators. The business of buying, selling or transporting coal should, however, be exempted from exclusion, as should the distribution and trading of power, the fund said in its letter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund: Peter Costello pins hopes on fossil fuels

Posted on 03 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Future Fund has snubbed the environment movement and fossil-fuel divestment activists, vowing it will continue to invest in the non-renewable energy sector and the banks that support it until the federal parliament directs the $117 billion fund to sell out. Announcing a 15.4 per cent ­investment return for 2015, chairman Peter Costello said that as long as a case existed to invest in companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as well as the banks that lend to them, the fund would ­continue to do so.
“If you want to invest in Australian equities, you have to be in the banks and the mining companies because there’s not much left to invest in Australia,” the former federal treasurer and creator of the fund said. “We will not be reducing our holdings in banks because they lend to fossil-fuel companies — as far we are concerned, mining fossil fuels is quite legal in Australia and it generates enormous export income………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Peter Costello says Future Fund won’t join fossil fuel divestment

Posted on 02 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Future Fund chairman Peter Costello strongly backed fossil fuel miners and said the $117 billion sovereign wealth fund will not join the global fossil fuel divestment push. Announcing a 15.4 per cent return on the fund’s $100 billion-plus portfolio, Mr Costello said the fund would continue to be a big holder in mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto and the banks that fund them.
“Unless parliament passes a law so that we are in breach of statute, we’ll continue to invest in companies where there is an investment case, whether they are banks or fossil fuel companies or banks lending to fossil fuel companies,” Mr Costello said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nordea Asset Management Hunts Global Sustainability in New Fund

Posted on 28 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nordea Asset Management, which oversees about $320 billion, is creating a new fund to target ethical assets globally as appetite for sustainable investments rises. Nordea Asset Management, one of the biggest investors in the Nordic region, is by no means alone in carving out ethical return goals.
Norway’s $840 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has long shunned firms identified by an ethics council as employing dubious practices. This month, the wealth fund targeted palm oil producers, and excluded Daewoo International Corp. and Posco from its investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where to put money divested from fossil fuels

Posted on 27 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Three months ago, the Norwegian government committed to divesting 100 percent of its coal holdings from its sovereign wealth fund — the largest in the world with $900 billion in assets.
In total, hundreds of billions of dollars have been pledged for divestment, including from individuals, universities, sovereign wealth funds, faith-based groups and pension funds — forming an accelerating movement that spans sectors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Decarbonize Norway’s sovereign wealth fund in this year’s Business for a Better World MBA case competition

Posted on 26 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Team registration is now open for the third-annual CK-Schulich Business for a Better World case competition, a partnership between Corporate Knights magazine and York University’s Schulich School of Business. Student teams will be asked this year to decarbonize the holdings of the Norway Government Pension Fund Global, the largest sovereign fund in the world with a value of $940 billion (USD).
Managed by Norges Bank Investment Management, the fund is commonly referred to as The Oil Fund because it has been built from the surpluses of Norway’s petroleum income. Teams will have four key objectives:……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norwegian Fund Divestment Over Environmental Concerns

Posted on 24 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is removing four Asian companies from its investment portfolio for ethical reasons. The fund, officially known as the Government Pension Fund, is financed by profits, taxes and fees from Norway’s offshore oil and gas sector.
It said it was divesting from South Korean steelmaker Posco, its subsidiary Daewoo International Corp, and two Malaysian companies, Genting Berhad and IJM Corporation Berhad, citing the damage they are causing by turning rain forests in Indonesia and Malaysia into palm oil plantations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asia fails to follow Norge’s ethical investing lead

Posted on 21 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A move by the world’s largest institutional investor to exclude four Asian firms from its allocations has highlighted the lack of regional progress in implementing ethical investments. While Europe has taken the lead in rolling out environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, Asian investors continue to lag behind.
Norges Bank Investment Management, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, announced on Monday (August 17) that it had removed Malaysia’s IJM Corp and Genting as well as Korea’s Posco and Daewoo International Corp from its investment universe because of their links to the destruction of Indonesian rainforests……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund divestment over environmental concerns

Posted on 21 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is removing four Asian companies from its investment portfolio for ethical reasons. The fund, officially known as the Government Pension Fund, is financed by profits, taxes and fees from Norway’s offshore oil and gas sector.
It said it was divesting from South Korean steelmaker Posco, its subsidiary Daewoo International Corp, and two Malaysian companies, Genting Berhad and IJM Corporation Berhad, citing the damage they are causing by turning rain forests in Indonesia and Malaysia into palm oil plantations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund giant puts premium on ethical investing

Posted on 19 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $1.15 trillion Cdn sovereign-wealth oil fund announced this week that it will sell its stakes in four Asian companies over environmental concerns, underlying yet again how willing it is to take an activist approach to companies that fail to meet its ethical standards.
The mammoth fund, which is financed by profits, taxes and fees from Norway’s offshore oil and gas sector, said it would divest from South Korean steelmaker Posco, its subsidiary Daewoo International Corp., and two Malaysian companies, Genting Berhad and IJM Corporation Berhad………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway fund drops 4 Asian firms

Posted on 19 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s gigantic sovereign wealth fund has announced that it is divesting from four large Asian companies over the environmental damage their palm oil activities have on tropical forests. The world’s largest public investment fund, managing 7.15 trillion kroner (S$1.23 trillion), said its decision to exclude four groups - including South Korean group Daewoo International - from its portfolio was based on “an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage” from their conversion of tropical forests to cultivate palm oil.
Daewoo, South Korean steelmaker Posco and Malaysian groups Genting and IJM were targeted in Monday’s divestment decision by Norway’s central bank, which manages the wealth fund that owns around 1.3 per cent of all stocks on global equity markets, with stakes in about 9,000 companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund sells Asian shares for palm oil

Posted on 19 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s gigantic sovereign wealth fund announced on Monday that it was divesting from four large Asian companies over the environmental damage their palm oil activities have on tropical forests.
The world’s largest public investment fund, managing 7.15 trillion kroner (785 billion euros, $872 billion), said its decision to exclude four groups — including South Korean group Daewoo International — from its portfolio was based on “an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage” from their conversion of tropical forests to cultivate palm oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund expels POSCO, Daewoo Int’l over palm oil holdings

Posted on 19 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s central bank is divesting the country’s $870 billion pension fund of its holdings in four Asian multinationals over rainforest destruction for palm oil in Southeast Asia, the bank announced. Two of the companies, steelmaker POSCO and its subsidiary Daewoo International Corp., are headquartered in South Korea. The others, Genting Bhd. and IJM Corp. Bhd., are Malaysian conglomerates.
POSCO and Daewoo International were excluded for the activities of a subsidiary in Merauke, a district of Indonesia’s Papua province, where the central government intends to revive a controversial megaproject, the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway fund axes 4 Korean, Malaysian firms on environmental grounds

Posted on 18 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund has excluded two South Korean and two Malaysian companies from its investments due to risks of “severe environmental damage”, it said on Monday. Construction firm IJM Corp Bhd and conglomerate Genting Bhd, both of Malaysia, and steelmaker POSCO and conglomerate Daewoo International Corp of South Korea, were removed from the fund.
The world’s top sovereign wealth fund, with assets of $871 billion, has a range of ethics criteria for excluding firms from its portfolio, including environmental factors, nuclear weapons making and labour conditions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Wealth Fund Excludes Posco, Daewoo International

Posted on 18 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $875 billion sovereign wealth excluded Daewoo International Corp. and Posco from its investments because of their involvement in palm oil production. “There’s an unacceptable risk that Daewoo, and thus also its parent company POSCO, may be responsible for severe environmental damage in connection with the conversion of tropical forest into oil palm plantations in Indonesia,” Norway’s Ethics Council, which advises the investor, said Monday in a report published on its website.
The Oslo-based fund also will not invest in IJM Corp. Bhd and Genting Bhd, due to “risk of severe environmental damage,” it said in a statement. The two Malaysian companies also have palm oil operations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Oil Fund Excludes Companies on Environment Risks

Posted on 18 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s biggest, said Monday that it would exclude four companies from its investment portfolio on concerns that the companies could create severe environmental damage as they convert tropical forest into palm-oil plantations. The exclusions include South Korea’s Posco and Daewoo International Corp. as well as Malaysia’s IJM Corp. Bhd and Genting Bhd, the fund said.
The Norwegian central bank manages the $880 billion fund on behalf of the government. This is the first time the bank’s executive board has made a decision to exclude companies from investment after it took over responsibility for the fund’s ethically based exclusions on Jan. 1. The decisions were previously made by the country’s Ministry of Finance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway fund excludes four Asian groups over palm oil links

Posted on 18 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $870bn oil fund excluded four of Asia’s biggest companies because of concerns over severe environmental damage at Indonesian palm oil plantations. In the first use of a new procedure, Norway’s central bank decided the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund should not be able to invest in Daewoo International and Posco of South Korea, and Genting and IJM of Malaysia.
The four Asian companies join more than 50 companies that are excluded by the oil fund, including Boeing, British American Tobacco, Rio Tinto and Walmart. Decisions from the oil fund, which owns on average about 1.3 per cent of every stock in the world, are closely followed by other investors on ethical matters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s giant wealth fund decides that palm oil is terrible

Posted on 18 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $871 billion sovereign wealth fund said it would remove four Asian companies from its investment portfolio, citing the environmental damage they are causing by turning rain forests in Indonesia and Malaysia into palm oil plantations.
Palm oil, a widely-used processed food ingredient, has been widely criticized for harming the environment due to deforestation and the related production of massive quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Critics also allege multiple labor rights abuses in the industry, including employing child workers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fund excludes IJM and Genting from investments

Posted on 18 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s US$871bil sovereign wealth fund Norges Bank has excluded IJM Corp Bhd and Genting Bhd from its investments due to risks of “severe environmental damage”. Two other companies that the fund said it would not invest in are South Korean steelmaker POSCO and Daewoo International Corp, a trading company and listed subsidiary of POSCO.
“Norges Bank has decided to exclude the companies IJM Corp, Genting, POSCO and Daewoo International Corp from the investment universe of the Government Pension Fund Global. “The companies are excluded based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage,” it said in a statement. Both IJM Corp and Genting have interests in palm oil operations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

State’s wealth fund holds EUR70m shares in polluting firms

Posted on 14 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State’s main sovereign wealth fund holds more than €70 million worth of investments in some of the most polluting industries on the planet. An analysis by two leading environmental researchers reveals Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) maintains a portfolio of shares in oil, coal and fracking companies, the bulk of them in North America.
The most high-profile is TransCanada, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL project, which aims to bring oil extracted from Canada’s vast reserves of tar sands to US refineries on the Gulf coast. US president Barack Obama recently invoked his presidential veto to block the project on environmental grounds but Republicans have vowed to continue campaigning for it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Responsible investing’ benefits from weaker resources market

Posted on 11 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In June, Norway’s $US890 billion government pension fund, considered the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, said it would sell many of its investments related to coal. he decisions by large superannuation and global pension funds to divest and screen companies based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors is being driven by the increasing pool of money managed by managers in the core responsible investments category, Mr O’Connor said.
“Super funds are looking down at the asset managers and saying, ‘Why aren’t we doing this’? And then they have been doing it themselves by divesting.” he largest managers of core responsible investing include AMP Capital, Investa Property Group, New Forests, Perpetual Investments and BT Investment Management………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

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