Fund excludes IJM and Genting from investments

Environmental issues: IJM and Genting have interests in palm oil operations.

Norwegian fund to call off investments on environmental issue

PETALING JAYA: Norway’s US$871bil sovereign wealth fund Norges Bank has excluded IJM Corp Bhd and Genting Bhd from its investments due to risks of “severe environmental damage”.

Two other companies that the fund said it would not invest in are South Korean steelmaker POSCO and Daewoo International Corp, a trading company and listed subsidiary of POSCO.

“Norges Bank has decided to exclude the companies IJM Corp, Genting, POSCO and Daewoo International Corp from the investment universe of the Government Pension Fund Global.

“The companies are excluded based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage,” it said in a statement. Both IJM Corp and Genting have interests in palm oil operations.

According to the fund’s website, it held US$46mil investments in IJM Corp and US$40.8mil in Genting.

The fund also has investments in IJM Land Bhd and Genting Malaysia Bhd.

The world’s top sovereign wealth fund has a range of ethics criteria for excluding firms from its portfolio, including environmental factors, nuclear weapons-making and labour conditions.

A handful of Malaysian companies are also on Norges Bank’s list of “exclusion of companies”, including WTK Holdings Bhd, Ta Ann Holdings Bhd, Lingui Development Bhd and Samling Global Ltd.

Norges has been one of the largest foreign fund investors in Malaysian equities since 2010. As at end-2014, the fund had invested about US$1.66bil in 139 Bursa Malaysia-listed companies.

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