Home > Israel, Malaysia, Norway, United Nations > Norwegian government pension fund withdraws investments from companies in Israel and Malaysia citing ‘grossly unethical activity’

Norwegian government pension fund withdraws investments from companies in Israel and Malaysia citing ‘grossly unethical activity’

OSLO (WJC)–The Government Pension Fund of Norway (GPFG) has divested from two Israeli firms and a Malaysian business claiming they engage in “grossly unethical activity”.

The Ministry of Finance, which sets the financial guidelines for the fund, has excluded Africa-Israel Investments and its subsidiary Danya Cebus, as well as Malaysian company Samling Global.

“The decision to exclude these companies from the GPFG is based on the Council on Ethics assessment that they are contributing to or are themselves responsible for grossly unethical activity,” Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen was quoted as saying. Africa-Israel Investments is the majority owner of Danya, which develops Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance said in a press release.

“The Council on Ethics bases its recommendation on the fact that the international community is united in the view that the area east of the 1967 line is occupied territory and as such comes under the purview of the fourth Geneva Convention. Several United Nations Security Council resolutions and an International Court of Justice advisory opinion have concluded that the construction of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory is prohibited under this Convention,” says Johnsen.

Samling Global, a producer of timber, plywood, veneer and palm oil, has operations in Malaysia and Guyana that contribute to illegal logging and environmental damage, the Ministry claimed.

The fund, which is managed by Norway’s Central Bank, owned around US$ 1.2 million worth of stock in Africa-Israel Investments. The GPFG’s total assets are worth US$ 450 billion.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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