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ESG

AP4 divests nuclear weapons, oil sand stocks

AP4, Stockholm, divested 3 billion Swedish kronor ($334 million) that was invested in equities of nuclear weapons and oil sand companies from its portfolio, a spokesman said.

Proceeds from the investments were reallocated into other equities, the spokesman said. The new policy applies to corporate bonds as well as equities, but the 366.9 billion Swedish kronor pension fund did not hold any corporate debt in those kinds of companies in the portfolio when the stocks were divested. The divestment, which was effective Dec. 31, follows new sustainable investment policy guidelines adopted by the Swedish AP funds starting in 2019.

Excluded were companies deriving 20% or more of revenues from oil sand. AP4 also does not invest in nuclear weapon producers and systems that are not supporting long-term disarmament under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty adopted by the international community in 1970.

"We welcome that sustainability is now implemented in the law with the clarification that asset management shall be conducted exemplary by responsible investments and responsible ownership," CEO Niklas Ekvall said in a news release. "We have now decided to increase our ambitions and divest from companies related to nuclear weapons and oil sand."

Since 2012, AP4 has focused on reducing the climate-risk exposure of the portfolio, previously excluding companies involved in the production of tobacco, mines, cluster weapons, cannabis or companies that derive 20% or more of revenues from thermal coal.