Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Norwegian Investment Fund Drops Shipowners


OSLO: The Norwegian Central Bank (Norges Bank), which runs the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, has announced it has dropped four shipowners: Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan) Ltd, Korea Line Corp, Precious Shipping PCL and Thoresen Thai Agencies, the parent company of Thoresen Shipping, according to NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

It will exclude the companies from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) due to their current practices of selling their end-of-life ships for dirty and dangerous shipbreaking on the beaches of Gadani, Pakistan and Chittagong, Bangladesh.

The Norwegian Central Bank made the decision based on directions from The Norwegian Council on Ethics, which manages the bank as well as the GPFG.

The GPFG rules that companies should be excluded from investments in the fund based on human rights and humanitarian violations, corruption and environmental degradation records.

It owns 1% of all investments worldwide, and the recommendations of the Council on Ethics are considered an indication of good financing by other investors.

The companies have been excluded from the GPFG because the beaching of their vessels cause severe environmental damage and serious human rights violations.

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform reports that in the last three years, 20 ships were sold by Evergreen, Korea Line, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies to beaching facilities in South Asia.

Another company, the South Korean Pan Ocean Co, has been placed under observation, but has not been excluded.

While the exclusions so far are limited to companies that have sold their end-of-life vessels to be beached in Bangladesh and Pakistan, the report by the Norwegian Council on Ethics also raised concerns about shipbreaking and beaching practices in Alang, India.

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