Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has revoked its exclusion of US defence firm Raytheon from its investment universe, after blacklisting its shares back in 2005.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the oil revenue-funded the NOK7.4trn (€827bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), said it had excluded the company from its investment 12 years ago due to the company’s involvement in the production of cluster munitions.
NBIM said: “The executive board’s decision to revoke the exclusion was made on the basis of a recommendation from the Council on Ethics, which regularly shall assess whether the basis for observation or exclusion still exists.
“The Council on Ethics has received confirmation from Raytheon that the company no longer has any activities associated with production of cluster munitions.”
The council said in its recommendation, dated 22 August 2016, that Raytheon has issued a statement on its website saying it did not manufacture or sell cluster munitions — nor did it make or sell land mines, nuclear warheads, or biological or chemical weapons.
In 2008, a number of Nordic pension funds blacklisted Raytheon because of its involvement in the making of cluster bombs along with other companies involved with the controversial munitions.
The four Swedish national pensions buffer funds AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4, Industriens Pension and Danica Pension in Denmark were among those divesting from Raytheon and other companies and removing them from their investment universe.
The Council on Ethics for the GPFG exists to evaluate whether the fund’s investments are consistent with the fund’s ethical guidelines.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions was signed in December 2008 in Oslo, prohibiting all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of the weapons, and so far it has been signed by 119 states. These weapons are considered a danger to civilians in a conflict both during war and for years afterwards, since the ‘bomblets’ can wander off course and remain unexploded, like landmines.