Norwegian Wealth Fund Prohibits Indian and Chinese Firms With Myanmar Links

One of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds with more than US$1.2 trillion in assets, Norway’s Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), has decided to exclude the companies AviChina Industry & Technology Co Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd.

NBIM said the purge of the firms was due to “unacceptable risk that the companies are selling weapons to a state that uses these weapons in ways that constitute serious and systematic breaches of the international rules on the conduct of hostilities”.

The fund’s Executive Board said the background for the decision is sales of light airplanes and other military material respectively to the military in Myanmar. The decision is based on recommendations from the Council on Ethics of 23 August 2022.

The Council on Ethics has considered the investments against the ethical guidelines § 4 (c): “Observation and exclusion can be decided for companies where there is unacceptable risk that the companies are contributing to or is itself responsible for sales of weapons to states in armed conflicts, where the weapons are used in ways that constitute serious and systematic breaches of the international rules on the conduct of hostilities”.

The Executive Board has not conducted an independent assessment of all aspects of the recommendations but is satisfied that the observation and exclusion criteria have been fulfilled.

Before deciding to exclude a company, Norges Bank shall consider whether the use of other measures, including the exercise of ownership rights, may be better suited. The Executive Board concludes that it is not appropriate to use other measures in these cases.

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