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Norway: Ofund puts Petrobras on ethics watch

 |  January 28, 2016

The ethics watchdog for Norway’s $800 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, is stepping up its scrutiny of companies the fund invests in to make sure they are not involved in corruption, an official at the watchdog told Reuters.

Eli Ane Lund, administrative leader of the ethics council, said the watchdog was currently investigating 14 companies for suspected corruption across nine countries.

These include Brazilian oil firm Petrobras, which is currently mired in the country’s biggest ever corruption scandal, he said, while declining to name the other companies.

“There is a clear increase in the number of corruption cases the council on ethics is looking at,” Lund said in an interview.

“Before we based ourselves a lot on media reports. Now we look at companies across a sector and go thoroughly through it.”

Norway’s sovereign fund has a range of criteria to ensure the country’s oil wealth is invested ethically, excluding companies involved in severe environmental damage, nuclear weapons making, tobacco production and labour exploitation.

The ethics council gets its mandate from Norway’s parliament and makes recommendations to the board of the country’s central bank, which supervises management of the fund. The board then decides whether to follow the council’s advice.

Full content: Reuters

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