Norway's oil fund, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, on Tuesday announced the exclusion from its portfolio of nine global stocks on ethical grounds.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the company that runs the fund, is seeking to cleanse its portfolio of companies that don't match up to a rigorous set of criteria based on principles of socially responsible investment.
Nuclear involvement rejected
The nine companies included British aerospace heavyweight BAE Systems, which NBIM said it was rejecting because of its "involvement in the production of nuclear weapons". Three other companies were excluded for the same reason: AECOM, Fluor Corp and Huntington Ingalls.
"The Executive Board’s decisions on exclusion were made on the basis of recommendations from the Council on Ethics," the wealth fund said.
In consultation with the Council on Ethics, BAE Systems confirmed it was involved in activities linked to the maintenence and upgrading of nuclear missiles.
The $1tn fund excluded a further five companies from its portfolio on Tuesday. Evergreen Marine of Taiwan, Korea Line, Thailand's Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies were excluded based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage.
Poland's Atal was excluded because of the "unacceptable risk of serious or systematic violations of human rights".
BAE Systems shares were unaffected and rose 0.7% to 595.8p. Evergreen Marine fell 1.39% to T$17.80, Korea Line lost 2.24% to Won28,350, Precious Shipping eased 0.9% to Baht11, Thoresen Thai edged 0.56% lower to Baht8.85 and Atal was unmoved.
The US groups AECOM, Fluor and Huntington were all unmoved in US pre-market trade.