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By Dominic Chopping
Norway's trillion-dollar oil fund has been given the green light to invest in a group of companies that had previously been excluded on ethical grounds.
Norges Bank, the country's central bank that manages the fund, said Tuesday that it has decided to revoke the exclusions after recommendations from the fund's ethics council.
The decision means the sovereign wealth fund can invest in Grupo Carso SAB de CV (GCARSO.MX), General Dynamics Corp. (GD), Nutrien Ltd. (NTR), Rio Tinto Ltd. (RIO.AU), Rio Tinto PLC (RIO), Walmart Inc. (WMT) and Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB de CV (WALMEX.MX).
Grupo Carso was excluded from the fund in 2011 due to tobacco production, but the company has made it clear for the ethics council that it is no longer involved in tobacco production, Norges Bank said.
General Dynamics Corp. was excluded in 2005 due to the production of cluster munitions but the company has made it clear that such production has been terminated.
Nutrien (previously known as Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan) was excluded in 2011 after an assessment of the risk of violations of fundamental ethical norms related to the company's operations in Western Sahara. The ethics council found that these purchases now have ceased.
Rio Tinto Ltd. and Rio Tinto PLC were excluded in 2008 based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage related to the Grasberg mine in Indonesia. The company has signed an agreement to sell its interest in the mine.
Walmart Inc. and Wal-Mart de Mexico were excluded in 2006 based on an assessment of serious or systematic violations of human rights. Norges Bank said the ethics council has found that the grounds for exclusion are no longer present.
Write to Dominic Chopping at email@example.com; @domchopping @WSJNordics
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 25, 2019 04:53 ET (08:53 GMT)
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