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Norwegian Government Allows GPFG to Continue Investing in Coal Pending Further Investigation

The Norwegian parliament struck down legislation that would exclude coal companies from the Government Pension Fund Global’s (GPFG) investment universe because of its impact on the environment. The sovereign wealth fund is already subject to ethical guidelines for investing, but recent pushes to ban fossil fuel investments have sparked heated debate.

Critics call the legislation hypocritical because Norway’s oil and gas reserves are the sole funding of GPFG, formerly known as the Petroleum Fund.

Norway’s Labor Party spearheaded the bill citing environmental concerns, but lost the support of the Christian Democrats and Liberals in favor of first researching the effect of banning investments in oil, gas and coal companies, according to Bloomberg. Several detractors of the proposal argue that excluding fossil fuel investments would cut funding for numerous companies that are trying to develop emission reducing technology.

The Labor Party intends to revise and resubmit the proposal later this year, Torstein Tvedt Solberg, a party legislator, told Bloomberg.

GPFG has ethical guidelines for investing in place and currently excludes certain weapon manufacturers (nuclear arms, anti-personnel land mines, and cluster munitions), tobacco producers and companies with poor human rights and environmental track records. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Concerns Raised at Potential BlackRock Takeover of CalPERS’ Private Equity

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has been analyzing options on what to do with its massive US$ 26 billion private equity program. The pension system has embraced the mantra of reducing cost, reducing complexity and reducing risk, the hallmark of its program called “INVO 2020”. CalPERS also wants less, but more strategic relationships with external money managers. At one point, CalPERS was contemplating increasing its direct investment staff to model Canadian pension funds such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), OMERS and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension plan. The pendulum has begun to swing the other way as reported earlier by SWFI research staff.

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CDP Signs €1.7 Billion Infrastructure Loan Agreement with Atlantia Group

Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and Atlantia Group’s Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) have signed a €1.7 billion loan contract dedicated to upgrading motorways in Italy under concession to ASPI. €1.1 billion will come in the form of a term loan with a 10-year tenure, with the remaining €600 million wrapped up in a five-year revolving loan.

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Sovereign Funds Commit to Integrating Climate-Related Risks at One Planet Summit

Representatives from a number of sovereign wealth funds who collectively govern over US$ 2 trillion in assets came together at the One Planet Summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris in order to discuss what public asset owners can do to incorporate climate change-related risks and opportunities into investment considerations.

The newly formed committee – called the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group – includes as its founding members the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Norges Bank Investment Management (manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global), Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

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