NORWAY - The Government Pension Fund - Global is expected to grow from current value US$350bn to $600bn by the end of 2010.
In a speech by Svein Gjedrem, governor of Norges Bank, at the opening of its office in Shanghai, he said: “A key feature of the fund is its rapid historic inflow and growth in assets. This development is expected to continue.”
He outlined the portfolios under Norges Bank’s management were invested in equity and fixed income instruments in over 45 developed and emerging markets around the world, around 10% of which were invested in the Asia Pacific region.
Norges Bank already has offices in London and New York.
In other news, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance has excluded the British mining company Vedanta Resources from the investment portfolio of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global, based on a recommendation from the Council on Ethics for the fund.
According to the Council on Ethics, the fund ran an “unacceptable risk of contributing to severe environmental damages and serious or systematic violations of human rights by continuing to invest in the company”.
Norges Bank said in a statement that it did not regard the exercise of ownership rights as a tool by which Vedanta’s behaviour could be influenced in a positive direction.
Kristin Halvorsen, minister of finance, said: “We cannot hold shares in such a company.”
The statement said the divestment process was now concluded and the has estimated to have sold off shares in Vedanta worth NOK70m (US$13.2m).
Vedanta was unavailable for comment
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