The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has excluded one Malaysian company from the portfolio of the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).
On the recommendation of the Council on Ethics, the Ministry of Finance has decided to exclude the Malaysian company Samling Global Ltd. from the GPFGs investment portfolio. The divestment from the company has now been concluded.
“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,” says Minister of Finance Sigbjørn Johnsen.
Samling Global is an integrated forest resource and wood products company that produces timber, plywood, veneer and palm oil. The Council on Ethics’ investigations have documented what seems to be extensive and repeated breaches of the licence requirements, regulations and other directives governing the company’s forest operations in Sarawak, Malaysia and Guyana. The recommendation of the Council on Ethics is based on field surveys , satellite image analysis, and evaluation of publicly available documentation. In its assessment, the Council on Ethics has placed particular emphasis on the extent of illegal logging. and the environmental damage that occurs when laws and regulations are not being observed.
“The Council on Ethics has assessed Samling Global, and concluded that the company’s forest operations in the rainforests of Sarawak and Guyana contribute to illegal logging and severe environmental damage. I have therefore chosen to follow the recommendation of the Council on Ethics and exclude the company from the GPFG’s investment portfolio,” says Johnsen.
The GPFG owned shares worth NOK 8.1 million in Samling Global Ltd at year end 2009.