Kommunal Landspensjonskasse, Oslo, divested 275 million Norwegian kroner ($32 million) in holdings linked to the violation of human rights abuses in Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Divestments were made in equity and bond exposures in 16 companies, with more than one-third of holdings in Motorola Solutions Inc.
The 813.5 billion kroner pension fund said in a "decision document" Monday that executives had considered whether the 16 companies' links to and operations in the West Bank could constitute an unacceptable risk of violating its guidelines.
The situation in the West Bank has worsened over recent months and there is an "ongoing danger to life and health, as well as human rights abuses," the document said. It is well-documented in a United Nations report "that the companies are contributing to serious human rights abuses."
KLP executives have contacted all 16 companies for engagement "and has (followed) up due to a lack of response from the majority. The few companies that have replied to KLP's queries did so at an overarching level and have referred to general guidelines without discussing the specific query," the document said. One company, French manufacturer Alstom SA, was willing to meet with KLP. "The company asserts that is does not contribute to the violation of international law through its activities in the occupied territory. Alstom refers to a judgment issued by a French court, which ruled that a suit filed against Alstom and another company in respect of their involvement in a project in the West Bank was inadmissible. The court rejected the case on the basis that it was outside of the court's jurisdiction," the document said.
The divestments were effective last month.