By Dominic Chopping


Norway's $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund said late Wednesday that it has decided to end its observation of Japan's Kirin Holdings Co Ltd. while it will extend its observation of South Korea's Pan Ocean Co. Ltd.

The wealth fund is managed by Norway's central bank, but decisions to place companies on observation are made based on recommendations from an ethics council appointed by the Ministry of Finance.

The fund's guidelines mean it doesn't invest in certain weapons manufacturers, thermal coal miners, tobacco producers or companies responsible for environmental damage or human rights violations, for example.

Kirin Holdings was placed under observation in 2021 due to human-rights concerns over the company's relationship with an organization that has ties to the military in Myanmar.

"Kirin has ended the business relationship and no longer has any activity in Myanmar. Hence, it is the council on ethics' assessment that there are no longer grounds for having the company under observation," Norges Bank Investment Management said.

Pan Ocean has been under observation since 2018 over concerns the company disposed of obsolete vessels by sending them to be broken up for scrap on the beaches of Bangladesh and Pakistan, where working conditions are extremely poor.

"The company has recently adopted a new policy aimed at securing that obsolete vessels are disposed of in a more sustainable way," NBIM said.

"The council on ethics has recommended to extend the observation period with four years to assess the practical implementation of the new policy."


Write to Dominic Chopping at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 23, 2023 05:02 ET (09:02 GMT)

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