Norway’s $1tr fund beefs up eco scrutiny

Sustainable vision: Norwegian sovereign wealth fund CEO Yngve Slyngstad. (Reuters)
Updated 05 September 2018
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Norway’s $1tr fund beefs up eco scrutiny

  • The fund’s ambitions as an investor significantly overlap with the UN’s goals of achieving sustainable economic, social and environmental development by 2030
  • CEO Yngve Slyngstad: Our most important contribution is to strengthen governance, improve performance and promote sustainable business practices

OSLO: Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund will demand that companies in which it invests follow stricter guidelines on global sustainability and strengthen efforts to combat plastic pollution of the oceans, it said on Wednesday.
The fund’s ambitions as an investor significantly overlap with the UN’s goals of achieving sustainable economic, social and environmental development by 2030.
“Our most important contribution is to strengthen governance, improve performance and promote sustainable business practices,” CEO Yngve Slyngstad said in a statement.
“We invest in developing markets and in companies developing solutions for a more environmentally friendly economy. Finally, we divest from companies with unsustainable business models.”

 

The fund issued a separate document on ocean sustainability, adding that this could affect companies with a combined value of $56.5 billion, representing about 8 percent of its global equities portfolio.
“We expect companies to manage the challenges and opportunities related to sustainable use of the ocean,” Slyngstad said.
“Examples of relevant sectors include ocean-based industries such as shipping, wild-catch fisheries and aquaculture, but also retail, the value chain of plastic products and agricultural goods.”
Norway’s economy relies heavily on the oceans, with its top industries — oil and gas, shipping, fish farming and fishing — all based offshore. Prime Minister Erna Solberg has made sustainability of the seas a foreign policy priority.
Norges Bank Investment Management, a unit of the Norwegian central bank, also said it had appointed three outside advisers to strengthen its work on corporate governance issues.

Decoder

The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is the world’s largest by asset value, holding stakes in more than 9,000 companies in 72 countries, in addition to a fixed-income portfolio and direct stakes in real estate.


Egypt buys 2.7mn tons of local wheat so far this season

Updated 12 min 24 sec ago
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Egypt buys 2.7mn tons of local wheat so far this season

  • Egypt has said it aims to procure 3.6 million tons of wheat from local farmers during the season

CAIRO: Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer has bought 2.7 million tons of wheat from its farmers so far this season, the state-owned Al Akhbar newspaper said on Sunday.
Egypt has said it aims to procure 3.6 million tons of wheat from local farmers during the season.