Markets

Norges Bank excludes Page Industries from fund portfolio

KS Badri Narayanan Chennai | Updated on August 31, 2020 Published on August 31, 2020

Cites ‘human rights violations’ in the production of textiles

Norway's $1-trillion wealth fund, Norges Bank Investment Management, has excluded India's Page Industries from its portfolio for alleged human rights violations related to the way it produces textiles, said Norges Bank, the Norwegian central bank that runs the fund, on Monday.

Along with Page Industries, it also excluded Taiwan's Formosa Chemicals and Fibre and Formosa Taffeta in line with its 'responsible investment' policy.

Page Industries is not the first Indian company to be excluded by the fund, which has been excluding companies time and again for various ‘ethical’ reasons. On April 14, 2016, it had removed over half-a-dozen companies including Coal India, CESC, GMDC, NTPC, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Power and Tata Power over production of coal or coal-based energy.

While Zuari Agro Chemicals was excluded in the 2013 review citing serious violations of human rights, ITC was removed for manufacturing tobacco. Similarly BHEL (May 2017) and Vedanta (January 2016) were excluded citing severe environmental damage.

Apart from the above conditions, the Norwegian fund has been excluding companies from its portfolio over production of nuclear weapons, unacceptable greenhouse gas emissions, serious violations of fundamental ethical norms and gross corruption.

High-profile exclusions

Some of the high profile companies that has been out of its investment purview included Airbus SE, American Electric Power, Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co, BHP Group, British American Tobacco, Duke Energy, Honeywell International, Korea Electric Power, Lochkeed Martin, Posco and ZTE Corp.

According to its web site, the fund has a small stake in more than 9,000 companies worldwide, including the likes of Apple, Nestle, Microsoft and Samsung. On average, the fund holds 1.5 per cent of all of the world’s listed companies.

Since 1998, the fund has generated an annual return of 5.8 per cent, it further said

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Published on August 31, 2020
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