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The Oil Fund’s investment in tobacco has increased by more than 40%, to US$ 1 billion, Norwatch found on examining the fund’s new portfolio. The investment in arms has, for its part, decreased strongly: the Oil Fund has withdrawn from nine of the largest arms producers in the world.
The leader of the Oil Fund’s ethical council, Gro Nystuen, denies that the Burma regime accomplice Total is being retained in the Oil Fund because it is a major company on Norwegian continental shelf. “The accusation is self-contradictory”, Nystuen told Norwatch. She emphasises that if new information should turn up, the case can be reconsidered.
The explanations of the Swedish Nobel Institute with regard to the lack of ethical guidelines for the investment of the Nobel assets differ totally. Financial Manager Åke Altéus now admits to Norwatch that they have never given fund managers verbal ethical guidelines.
The Nobel Foundation has invested in an ethical quagmire. The foundation has no ethical guidelines, keeps its portfolio secret, and trusts its investment managers blindly. As a result, the Nobel prizes may as well be financed by cluster bombs as by controversial gene technology.
Cluster bomb manufacturers will be the first to be ejected from the Oil Fund. In a relatively short time, the fund’s ethical council will take delivery of an overview of the companies that produce cluster bombs, the council’s leader, Gro Nystuen, reveals to NorWatch. It will be the first list of companies to be excluded from the fund. Read the whole interview.
Norge Bank, Oslo. The ethical council for the Oil Fund was established mid November, but according to the central bank’s boss, Svein Gjedrem, is still in its establishment stage.
The Norwegian Petroleum Fund issued its annual report for 2004 today. There was little pleasant reading for ethical watchers. Despite the new ethical guidelines, the fund still invested in cluster bombs and nuclear weapons producers.
A new Nordic index proves that ethical investments are much more profitable than portfolios that are not screened ethically. According to the index, an ethical investment universe aheads the Oslo Stock Exchange by 8 percent.
American authorities have sued the tobacco industry for NOK 1 915 billion. The Norwegian Oil Fund has invested NOK two million in three of the companies involved. Norges Bank does not want to comment on whether to disinvest.
On Friday, Norway will be the first state in the world to introduce ethical guidelines for a large public fund. The parliament will also vote on a minority proposal to exclude tobacco from the Oil Fund.
The Norwegian Oil Fund will withdraw from investments in cluster bombs and nuclear weapons. Tobacco companies with unethical marketing will also be at risk. These are the immediate consequences of the government moving forward with regards to ethical guidelines of the Petroleum Fund.
Lockheed Martin is not the only manufacturer of nuclear weapons in the Oil Fund portfolio. Through the American industrial giant Honeywell International Inc., Norwegian oil money are put to work in the actual nuclear warhead production process.