World Economy

Norway Fund Axes 4 Foreign Firms

Norway Fund Axes 4 Foreign FirmsNorway Fund Axes 4 Foreign Firms

Norway’s $871 billion sovereign wealth fund has excluded two South Korean and two Malaysian companies from its investments, accusing them of turning tropical forests into palm oil plantations, Reuters quoted the fund as saying. 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 exclusions followed a recommendation by the fund’s council of ethics, which said the firms or their subsidiaries were involved in the destruction of rain forests in Indonesia and Malaysia. The decision to exclude steel firm POSCO, the largest of the investments, was due to its majority ownership of Daewoo International, which made it indirectly responsible for the subsidiary’s activity, the council added. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global is the world’s top sovereign wealth fund, with assets of $871 billion, and has a range of ethics criteria for excluding firms from its portfolio, including severe environmental damage, nuclear weapons making, tobacco production and labor conditions.