Norway finances divestment of companies linked to arms production

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Norway’s largest pension fund said on Thursday it had withdrawn from 14 companies involved in the production of nuclear missiles and other weapons.

Oslo-based KLP, which manages more than 300 billion crowns ($ 35.4 billion), said it made the move after reviewing companies that may violate its arms guidelines.

“The excluded are mainly companies that directly or indirectly contribute to the sustainability of nuclear weapons,” said Kiran Aziz, responsible investment manager at KLP. “Companies do not need to produce the components of the weapons themselves. It is enough that they contribute in other ways.

The fund said in a statement that weapons “by their nature violate basic humanitarian principles.”

As of this month, KLP will no longer do business with companies such as Britain’s Rolls Royce Holdings PLC, Massachusetts-based Raytheon Technologies Corp. and France’s Thales.

A United Nations Treaty on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons entered into force in January, so investors like KLP must apply higher standards to companies that help manufacture these weapons, Aziz said.

KLP said Rolls Royce produces components for a number of ships capable of launching nuclear weapons, Raytheon develops missiles that can carry nuclear warheads, and Thales develops and produces components for nuclear missiles.

In recent years, pension and wealth funds around the world have divested themselves of stocks, bonds or investment funds from companies that they considered unethical or morally ambiguous.

Earlier this year, KLP divested 16 companies that operated in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. They were on a UN list of 112 companies that it said were complicit in violating Palestinian human rights by operating in the West Bank.

Last year, KLP excluded the ports of Adani and the Special Economic Zone over its links with the Burmese military, which staged a coup. He also previously cut investments in British security firm G4S, saying the group operates in countries such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates where there is a risk of violating international labor standards.

Thursday’s exclusions mean KLP sold shares worth just over a billion kronor ($ 117 million) and debt securities in the form of bonds valued at around 200 million crowns ($ 23.5 million).


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