Oil fund sells out of 49 companies due to sustainability concerns

Yngve SlyngstadThe oil fund sold its ownership in 49 different companies last year due to a high level of uncertainty concerning the companies' sustainability.

The government pension fund of Norway, better known as the National oil fund, presented its first report on responsible investments on Thursday. 

"Gradually, we have expanded the extent of our divestment, both geographically and thematically. In total, we have sold out of 114 companies during the past three years, explains the head of the oil fund, Yngve Slyngstad (photo). 

Aftenposten describes the report as thorough, and Slyngstad says that the purpose of the report has been to offer a complete and more transparent overview of the fund's effort to secure a responsible management. 

The estimated value of the government pension fund is now NOK 6500 billion. 

"The goal is to achieve the highest possible return with an acceptable level of risk. Our work with responsible management supports this goal," says chief of the central bank, Øystein Olsen. 

Slyngstad explains that the fund works along three paths to ensure that its investments are ethical, responsible and sustainable:

- Setting standards

- Ownership

- Risk management

The oil fund has invested in a total of 9,100 companies, mainly in Europe and North America, and it is currently the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. 

(NTB/Aftenposten)

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