Decisions on exclusions and active ownership
31 August 2020
Norges Bank’s Executive Board has decided to exclude the companies Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp, Formosa Taffeta Co Ltd and Page Industries Ltd because of unacceptable risk for violation of human rights, ref. section 3, subsection a, of the guidelines. The Council on Ethics recommended to exclude Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp and Formosa Taffeta Co Ltd because of alleged human rights violations related to textile production in Vietnam and Page Industries Ltd due to alleged human rights violations related to textile production in India.
In addition, the Executive Board has decided to follow the company PetroChina Ltd’s work on anti-corruption as part of the fund’s active ownership efforts over a period of three years. The Council on Ethics has recommended to exclude the company. According to the guidelines, Norges Bank shall consider whether other measures, including the exercise of ownership rights, may be more suited to reduce the risk of continued norm violations, or whether such alternative measures may be more appropriate for other reasons. The Executive Board concludes that active ownership in this case is more suitable.
The company has been under observation since 2017 following a recommendation from the Council on Ethics in 2016 to exclude the company. The Executive Board agrees with the Council on Ethics that observation no longer seems to be the appropriate action as the company is not responding to enquires from the Council. The Executive Board considers active ownership an alternative. The fund has regular dialogue with companies on anti-corruption issues, and can benefit from that experience in a dialogue with PetroChina Co Ltd.
The Executive Board’s exclusion decisions were made based on recommendations from the Council on Ethics. For some of the companies of which exclusion is now being made public, the market situation, including liquidity in individual shares, has meant that it has taken a long time to sell the shares in a reasonable manner. That explains why a long period of time has passed between some of the decisions and the bank’s publication.
The Council on Ethics' recommendations:
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp and Formosa Taffeta Co Ltd
Head of Communications and External Relations, Norges Bank Investment Management
Tel. no.: +47 92601756