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.


Iran falls to sixth biggest oil supplier to India as sanctions bite

Updated 23 sec ago
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Iran falls to sixth biggest oil supplier to India as sanctions bite

  • Tehran dropped two places to become only the sixth biggest supplier after New Delhi cut purchases due to the impact of US sanctions
  • The UAE, which was the sixth biggest oil seller to India in October, became the third-top seller to India in November

NEW DELHI: India’s monthly oil imports from Iran plunged to their lowest in a year in November with Tehran dropping two places to become only the sixth biggest supplier after New Delhi cut purchases due to the impact of US sanctions, according to ship tracking data and industry sources.
Last month, the US introduced tough sanctions aimed at crippling Iran’s oil revenue-dependent economy. Washington did, though, give a six-month waiver from sanctions to eight nations, including India, and allowed them to import some Iranian oil.
India is restricted to buying 1.25 million tons per month, or about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd).
In November, India imported about 276,000 bpd of Iranian oil, a decline of about 41 percent from October and about 4 percent more than the year-ago month, ship tracking data obtained from shipping and trade sources showed.
After abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump is trying to force Tehran to quash not only its nuclear ambitions and its ballistic missile program but its support for militant proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.
India’s imports from Iran in November, included some parcels that were loaded in October. In November, Iraq and Saudi Arabia continued to be the top-two oil sellers to India.
The UAE, which was the sixth biggest oil seller to India in October, became the third-top seller to India in November, knocking down Venezuela to fourth position.