World’s biggest sovereign fund ejects Chinese company

OSLO (AFP) – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, has excluded a Chinese company from its almost USD1 trillion portfolio because of human rights violations, the Norwegian central bank said yesterday.

Yarn, fabric and apparel manufacturer Texwinca is the main shareholder in Megawell Industrial, which has been criticised for working conditions at its factories in Vietnam.

The Council on Ethics, which makes recommendations to Norway’s central bank which runs the fund, cited as concerns the discrimination of female workers, health and safety risks at the factories, and restrictions on the right to form unions.

The central bank concluded there existed an “unacceptable risk that the company is responsible for serious or systematic human rights violations”.

The central bank also announced yesterday that it was excluding the coal-based energy companies Evergy of the US and Washington H Soul Pattinson of Australia.

Fuelled by Norway’s state oil and gas revenue, the Government Pension Fund Global is currently worth 8.4 trillion kroner (USD983 billion).