Norway's sovereign fund excludes Mexican company on ethical grounds
GLOBAL - Norway's sovereign wealth fund, Pension Fund Global, has excluded Mexican company Grupo Carso from its portfolio due to its involvement in the production of tobacco.
The ministry of finance announced the sovereign wealth fund decided to sell its stake in the Mexican company based on a recommendation from the council on ethics for the fund.
The guidelines for observation and exclusion of companies from the fund clearly state that the assets in the fund shall not be invested in companies that themselves or through entities control production of tobacco.
Grupo Carso owns a 69.94% stake in Compañia Mercantil de Productos de Tabaco, which produces tobacco products, as well as a 20% interest in Philip Morris.
Against this background, the council has recommended that Grupo Carso be excluded from the fund's investment universe.
As of December 2010, Pension Fund Global held NOK160.3m (€20.5m) of shares in the Mexican company.
Norway's sovereign wealth fund had already excluded Chinese firm Shanghai Industrial Holdings for the same reasons in March this year.
Prior to this exclusion, the fund also sold its shares in Malaysian company Lingui Development Berhad in February due to concerns over environmental damage.
These moves were based on ethical rules encompassing human rights, some weapons production, the environment and tobacco.