Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has removed Alstom from its observation list, where it had been for four years, saying there was “less risk” of corruption at the French company.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which runs the NOK7.1trn (€742bn) Government Pension Fund Global, first placed Alstom under observation in December 2011, due to the risk of “gross corruption”.

This move was based on a recommendation from its Council on Ethics, which now believes the risk of corruption at Alstom has been reduced and is “probably” in line with that at comparable companies.

“This,” the council said, “is based on an assessment of the company’s internal anti-corruption systems and the fact the company’s systems will be the subject of on-going reporting by the company and its external lawyers to the US Department of Justice as a result of a settlement agreement in the US.”

The recommendation also took into account the sale of large parts of the company.

On 2 November, Alstom closed the sale of its energy businesses to General Electric and is now focused on rail transport.