Government Pension Fund – Global: Dongfeng excluded and Siemens under observation
Norway barred its oil fund, the world’s third-biggest sovereign wealth fund, from investing in China’s Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd. and put its holding in Siemens AG under observation, citing ethical guidelines.
The Ministry of Finance has excluded the Chinese company Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd from the Government Pension Fund – Global, based on advice from the Council on Ethics. The company sells military trucks to Burma.
“We cannot finance companies that support the military dictatorship in Burma through the sale of military materials,” says Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen.
The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has decided to place the German company Siemens AG under observation due to the gross and systematic corruption the group has been involved in over many years.
Gross corruption can be grounds for exclusion from the Government Pension Fund – Global. “Siemens are now in the public eye and the company has initiated a range of anticorruption measures. By placing the company under observation we will contribute to keeping up the momentum on the anticorruption efforts,” says Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen.
The Council on Ethics has earlier recommended that the company be excluded because of the risk of involvement in gross corruption.
“I will ask the Council on Ethics and Norges Bank to keep Siemens under close scrutiny with regard to the general anticorruption efforts, and in case new cases of gross corruption are uncovered. We will have a low threshold for excluding Siemens if new cases of gross corruption are discovered,” says Halvorsen.
As at 31 December 2008 the Government Pension Fund – Global owned Siemens shares for NOK 6.3 billion, representing 1.34 per cent of the voting shares.
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