Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, said it will divest from four major Asian companies due to concerns that they are involved in deforestation.
The US$870 billion fund placed Daewoo International and Posco of South Korea, Genting and IJM of Malaysia on its 50-strong exclusion list on Monday after its ethical advisors found the firms were involved in clearing forest for palm oil plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia.
It said this meant they presented an unacceptable risk of severe environmental damage for Norway, is one of the world’s biggest funders of REDD+ initiatives.
The fund’s shares of less than 2% in each of the four companies totalled over $270 million at the end of 2014.
The fund has grown thanks to Norway’s oil extraction, the country’s parliament in June directed it to divest some $8 billion-worth of investments in firms extracting coal.