Press release | Date: 02/09/2005
The Ministry of Finance has excluded a further eight companies from the Petroleum Fund pursuant to the Fund’s ethical guidelines. (02.09.05)
Contact: Runar Malkenes, telephone +47 22 24 41 09 / mobile +47 95 21 42 83, Anders Lande, telephone +47 22 24 41 05 / mobile +47 48 05 33 51
A Further Eight Companies Excluded from the Petroleum Fund
The Ministry of Finance has excluded a further eight companies from the Petroleum Fund pursuant to the Fund’s ethical guidelines. “According to the Petroleum Fund’s Advisory Council on Ethics, t hese companies manufacture key components for cluster bombs,” says Minister of Finance Per-Kristian Foss.
Under the ethical guidelines, established on 19 November 2004, companies manufacturing key components for particularly inhumane weapons must be excluded from the Fund. In the Revised National Budget for 2004 it was made clear that cluster bombs can belong to this category of weapons.
A recommendation of 16 June 2005 from the Petroleum Fund’s Advisory Council on Ethics advised the exclusion of the following companies: Alliant Techsystems Inc., EADS Co (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company), General Dynamics Corporation, L3 Communications Holdings Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Co. and Thales SA. The Ministry of Finance has also excluded bonds issued by the company EADS Finance BV since this company can be identified with its parent company, EADS Co.
The Petroleum Fund’s Advisory Council on Ethics recommended excluding companies that manufacture key components for cluster bombs. Key components will typically be the bomb container itself and the bomblets comprising the ammunition, as well as other components essential for the functioning of the weapon. The Council emphasises that the list of manufacturers of cluster bombs contained in the recommendation is not exhaustive and that new exclusions may be called for at a later stage.
See the Council’s recommendation for a detailed account of the reasoning behind the exclusion of each of the companies in question.
The Petroleum Fund’s Advisory Council on Ethics has asked the companies to clarify whether or not they manufacture weapons which can be characterised as cluster bombs. Four of the companies confirmed that they do so. The other companies did not respond to the approach. The Council has based its recommendation on information from Janes’ Information Group or information available on the companies’ web pages, as well as information obtained from the Mine Action Unit of Norwegian People’s Aid, the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the Norwegian Defence and Research Establishment (FFI) and the UK Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRIS).
The Ministry of Finance instructed Norges Bank on 30 June to exclude the eight companies in question from the Petroleum Fund, setting the deadline for disinvestment at 31 August. Disposal of stocks and bonds in the companies is now complete. According to Norges Bank, Petroleum Fund investments in the companies prior to disinvestment totalled almost NOK 2.2 billion. Publication of the decision to exclude the companies was deferred until today to ensure an appropriate disinvestment process.
The exclusions are the outcome of a systematic review by the Petroleum Fund’s Advisory Council on Ethics. The Council will continue its effort to identify any other companies whose operations are contrary to the Petroleum Fund's ethical guidelines.
Read more about the Petroleum Fund’s Advisory Council on Ethics at http://www.etikkradet.no