Nordic fund KLP removes 14 weapons companies on ethical grounds

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Norway’s largest pension fund KLP said it would no longer invest in 14 major weapons makers and their suppliers, including Raytheon Technologies Corporation and Rolls-Royce.

According to KLP, they have excluded certain companies located in Britain, China, France, Israel, India, Italy and the United States, because they produce certain types of weapons, mostly involving nuclear arms, that violate fundamental humanitarian principles.

“The criterion applies mainly to nuclear weapons and cluster munitions, as well as anti-personnel mines,” KLP said in a statement.

The other 12 companies are Babcock International Group, China Shipbuilding Industry Co, Dassault Aviation, Elbit Systems, General Dynamics Corp, KBR Inc, L3Harris Technologies, Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Leidos Holdings, Leidos, Leonardo SpA and Thales SA.

KLP’s decision follows a review of ethical criteria, expanding its definition to include makers of key components used for these types of weapons and providers of key support services.

“Companies do not need to produce the actual weapons components themselves. We are now taking a slightly more stringent line with producers of aircraft and vessels that have been developed, produced or adapted to launch nuclear weapons,” Kiran Aziz, KLP’s head of responsible investment, said to Reuters.

KLP, which has $90 billion worth of assets under management, said all the companies had been removed from its portfolio. Reuters state that “The exclusions mean that KLP has sold shares worth just over 1 billion Norwegian crowns ($117.50 million) and debt securities in the form of bonds worth about 200 million crowns, the company said.”

Source: Reuters

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