Norges Bank Investment Management has excluded more companies over human rights violations related to the conflict in Myanmar.
NBIM is the in-house manager of the Oslo-based Government Pension Fund Global, which has 14.44 trillion Norwegian kroner ($1.39 trillion) in assets.
On April 27, NBIM announced that it excluded GAIL India and Korea Gas, KOGAS, citing "unacceptable risk that the companies contribute" to those violations, based on their collaboration with an organization with military ties.
NBIM decisions to observe or exclude companies are based on recommendations from the wealth fund's Council on Ethics. NBIM also considers whether other measures, such as exercising ownership rights, would work better before moving to exclusion.
The ethics panel said that GAIL is partnering with state-owned oil company Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise. Since a military coup in February 2021, military abuses of civilians has intensified, and GAIL provides "substantial revenue streams that can finance military operations and abuses," the panel said in a statement.
KOGAS also partners with the state-owned oil company Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise on the gas field that finances military operations and abuses, and that partnership "represents an unacceptable risk of contributing to extremely serious norm abuses in the future," the Council on Ethics document said.
On Jan. 24, Norges Bank's executive board decided to exclude AviChina Industry & Technology Co. and Bharat Electronics because the companies sell airplanes and weapons to Myanmar in violation of international rules on the conduct of hostilities.
On Dec. 15, Norway's Council on Ethics recommended that GPFG exclude investments in Thai oil and gas company PTT PCL and subsidiary PTT Oil and Retail Business PCL for those companies' activities in Myanmar.
In 2021, the Council of Ethics recommended that Norge Bank place Kirin Holdings under observation due to their operations in Myanmar and Kirin's business relationship with an organization with ties to the Myanmar military. That observation was lifted March 22, after Kirin Holdings withdrew its Myanmar business and transferred shares of a joint venture there, according to NBIM documents.
In a separate statement, Kirin said that it also agreed to several employment-related measures to protect local employees in Myanmar, including freedom of choice in employment, no disadvantageous changes in salary and other treatment for one year, and three months' salary for Myanmar employees.