© Reuters. Norwegian fund excludes Chinese and Indian companies over arms sales to Myanmar
Copenhagen, Jan 25 (.).- The Norwegian State Global Pension Fund has announced its decision to exclude the Chinese companies AviChina Industry & Technology and India’s Bharat Electronics due to the “unacceptable” risk of selling weapons to the military government of Burma.
The two companies “sell weapons to a state that uses those weapons in a manner that constitutes a serious and systematic violation of international rules on the conduct of hostilities,” according to a statement from Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the Norwegian public bank that manages the fund’s investments.
The decision is based on recommendations issued by the Ethics Council last August, which considered certain rules regarding the ethical standards that must be respected.
That union decided that “the observation and exclusion of companies can be decided when there is an unacceptable risk that they are contributing or are themselves responsible for (…) the sales of arms to States in armed conflicts, when the arms are used in so as to constitute serious and systematic breaches of international rules on the conduct of hostilities”.
The bank’s Executive Board “has not carried out an independent assessment of all aspects of the recommendations, but is satisfied that the watch and exclusion criteria have been met.”
The fund, through the management of NBIM, invests in 9,338 companies in 70 countries.
In 2022 the fund announced that it would freeze and subsequently dispose of its assets in Russia due to the war in Ukraine, a portfolio with an estimated value then of about 27,000 million Norwegian crowns (2,738 million euros, 2,782 million dollars).
Norway is the main exporter of and gas in Western Europe.