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Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global cuts more coal stocks

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The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the country’s NOK7.5trn (€830bn) sovereign wealth fund, has decided to exclude another 15 companies from its investments because of their coal business, bringing the total number it has shut out to 59.

The exclusions follow Norges Bank Investment Management’s second round of analysis of companies that may be affected by this criterion. 

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which runs the former oil fund, said these exclusions followed its second round of analysis of companies that might be affected by its coal exclusion criterion, and was broader than the first round, announced in April.

“The implementation comprises all companies’ subsidiaries that issue bonds,” it said, adding that this was an expansion since the first round of analysis. 

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The exception to this is green bonds, or subsidiaries deemed to have significant renewable energy activity, NBIM said.

In addition to the 15 new exclusions, 11 companies have been put under observation, the asset manager said, because there is doubt in these cases as to whether the conditions for exclusion have been met, or as to future developments, for example.

NBIM said that, in total, it has now excluded 59 companies and put 11 under observation on the product-based coal criterion. 

“Further exclusions will follow in 2017,” it said.

As a result of the updated implementation of the criterion, NBIM said it had banished another 30 subsidiaries that issued bonds, with 21 of those being units of firms excluded in the first round in April 2016, when 44 companies and eight subsidiaries were excluded.

The Norwegian parliament voted in May last year to order the GPFG to sell off its holdings in companies that have 30% or more of their activities in the coal business.

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