By Dominic Chopping

 

Norges Bank Investment Management, the arm of Norway's central bank that manages the country's oil fund, said early Wednesday it has sold its shares in Glencore PLC, Anglo American PLC, RWE AG, Sasol Ltd., and AGL Energy Ltd. based on its criteria relating to the use of coal.

The fund last year introduced stricter rules surrounding its investments in companies that derive income from coal. The new guidelines mean it must now exclude companies from the fund that derive at least 30% of their income from thermal coal, base at least 30% of their operations on thermal coal, extract more than 20 million tons of thermal coal per year, or have a coal power capacity of more than 10,000 megawatts from thermal coal.

The fund held a 2.4% stake in Anglo American, 1.2% in Glencore and 0.6% in RWE at the end of 2019, the most recent date that data is available.

Based on these same rules, the oil fund has placed BHP Group Ltd./BHP Group PLC, Vistra Energy Corp., Enel SpA and Uniper SE on an observation list.

The oil fund's policy is to sell its stake in companies before announcing their exclusion.

In a further move, Norges Bank's executive board has decided to exclude Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc., Suncor Energy Inc., and Imperial Oil Ltd. on unacceptable levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

ElSewedy Electric Co. has been excluded on environmental grounds amid its participation in the development of a hydropower project in Tanzania, and Vale SA is excluded as a result of repeated dam breaches.

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, or Eletrobras, has been excluded amid human rights violations in connection with the development of the powerplant Belo Monte in Brazil.

Decisions to exclude some of these companies was made a while ago but selling out of the companies took longer than usual due to the current market situation including thin liquidity in individual shares.

Norges Bank has decided to revoke the exclusion of AECOM, after it discontinued its connection to nuclear weapon production, and Texwinca Holdings Ltd., after a subsidiary suspected of breaching workers' rights in factories was liquidated.

 

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 13, 2020 02:40 ET (06:40 GMT)

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