Norway’s Ministry of Finance appointed an expert group to investigate whether the 6.4 trillion Norwegian kroner ($809 billion) Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, should be permitted to invest in unlisted infrastructure and increase the 5% cap on real estate investments.
The ministry announced in a news release on Friday it has appointed Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, professor of finance and director at the Center for Real Estate Finance Research at New York University, as chair of the group.
Other group members are Richard Stanton, professor of finance and real estate and Kingsford Capital Management Chair, Hass School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, and Leo de Bever, former CEO of Alberta Investment Management Corp.
The finance ministry originally announced it would consider the changes in December, reversing a previous dismissal in 2011 of the strategy council’s recommendation.
The government’s mandated asset allocation for the fund is 60% equities, 35% fixed income and 5% in real estate.
In a separate news release, the finance ministry announced the government will introduce an ethical criterion against “acts and omissions that, on an aggregate company level, to an unacceptable degree entail greenhouse gas emissions.”
The finance ministry added the new criterion is “not limited to specific sectors or types of greenhouse gases.”
Earlier calls for complete divestment out of coal and other fossil-fuel producers were rejected by a government-appointed panel in December.
“Active ownership and dialogue shall remain the key tools for addressing climate issues in the management of the fund,” said Siv Jensen, Norway’s finance minister, in the news release.