(First published in Norwegian 01 Mar 2005)
By Pia A. Gaarder and David Stenerud
Nearly nine months after the parliament adopted the ethical guidelines for the Oil Fund, Norway's public fortune is still invested in cluster bombs and nuclear weapons. And this despite the parliament's adoption of ethical guidelines that include the Oil Funds withdrawal from companies manufacturing weapon types that breach fundamental human principles' such as cluster and nuclear bombs.
But the Oil Fund's managers have still not changed their investment policies a bit, and, on the contrary, increased their investment in General Dynamics that NorWatch reported in 2002 as producing components for cluster bombs. The new annual report shows that investments in the cluster bomb producer increased from NOK 160.7 million last year to NOK 166.474 million this year.
NorWatch has also previously documented that the world's biggest weapons manufacturer, Lockheed Martin is behind the advanced ballistic missile Trident II D5. The Trident missile can be equipped with a payload of eight distinct nuclear warheads each with a maximum explosive power 40 times greater than the Hiroshima bomb. The Oil Fund's investments in Lockheed Martin decreased from NOK 332,6 million to NOK 245,695 million today. The last few years investments in Lockheed Martin have increased from NOK 131.2 million in the portfolio in 2001, NOK 245 million in 2002 and up to NOK 332.6 million in 2003.
Investments in Honeywell International, which is involved in the maintenance and upgrading of the US nuclear weapons arsenal, is not excluded either, even if the investment has dropped form NOK 342.7 million to NOK 204.2 million.
In addition, the Oil Fund has also invested in Alliant Tech Systems, which delivers vital components for the Trident II D5, with NOK 15.072 million. This is a bit less than last year's report which showed that the Fund had invested NOK 17.7 million. As Alliant Tech reveals on its own website, they are involved in the only American inter-continental ballistic missiles still in production.
The central bank's chief, Svein Gjedrem, could only confirm at the presentation of the annual report that nothing had happened with the management of the fund.
- There are no changes as yet in our investment universe as a result of the introduction of ethical guidelines, said Gjedrem.