Decisions on observation and exclusion

Norges Bank has decided to place one company under observation, revoke the exclusion of one company, and end active ownership for one company.

15 June 2022

The Executive Board has decided to place the company Supermax Corp Bhd under observation for a period of two years due to unacceptable risk that the company contributes to serious violations of human rights, ref. the conduct-based criteria in section 4 (1) (a) of the Guidelines for the Observation and Exclusion of Companies from the Government Pension Fund Global. The decision is based on a recommendation from the Council on Ethics of 6 May 2022. In its recommendation, the Council on Ethics recommended excluding the company. According to section 6 (5) of the Guidelines, observation may be decided «when there is doubt as to whether the conditions for exclusion are met or as to future developments, or where observation is deemed appropriate for other reasons». Based on the recommendation, the Executive Board has made the assessment that the company’s announced measures to improve living and working conditions for migrant workers leave uncertainty about future developments. The period of observation gives the Council on Ethics the opportunity to find out whether the measures sufficiently reduce the risk of violations.

The Executive Board has also decided to revoke the exclusion of the company IJM Corp Bhd. The company has been excluded since 2015 due to unacceptable risk that the company is responsible – through its activities in palm oil plants in Indonesia – for serious environmental damage. Since the activities on which the exclusion was based have terminated, there are no longer grounds for excluding the company. The decision is based on a recommendation from the Council on Ethics of 5 May 2022.

The Executive Board has not conducted an independent assessment of all aspects of the recommendations but is satisfied that the exclusion criteria have been fulfilled. Before deciding to exclude a company, Norges Bank shall consider whether the use of other measures, including active ownership, may be better suited. The Executive Board concludes that it is not appropriate to use other measures in these cases.

The Executive Board has decided to end active ownership for the company AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.

In 2012, the Council on Ethics recommended excluding the company due to unacceptable risk that the company contributes to serious environmental damage and serious violations of human rights as a result of the company’s activities related to two goldmines in Ghana, ref. the conduct-based criteria in the Guidelines for the Observation and Exclusion of Companies from the Government Pension Fund Global. Based on Norges Bank’s recommendations, the Ministry of Finance decided – in 2013 – to address the matter with the company through special active ownership over a period of five years. In 2018, the Executive Board decided to extend the active ownership by three more years to be able to work towards reducing the risk even further.

Based on the measures and the further development of the mining activities since 2012, the Executive Board now finds that the risk in terms of future developments appear to have been reduced. The Executive Board has therefore decided to end the special active ownership. Going forward, the company will be followed up through ordinary ownership activities.

The Council on Ethics’ recommendations:

Supermax Corp Bhd
IJM Corp Bhd

More about the decision to end special active ownership in AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.

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Line Aaltvedt
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