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Norwegian wealth fund puts Adani Ports for Myanmar link and two others on its watchlist

YANGON, March 8 (Reuters): Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has placed Canada’s Bombardier, India’s Adani Ports and South Korea’s Hyundai Glovis on its watchlist for possible exclusion from investment over ethical concerns.

Norway’s $1.3 trillion wealth fund, which invests state revenues from oil and gas production for future generations, follows an ethical mandate set by parliament.

Norges Bank, which manages the fund, said in a statement on Monday that Bombardier had been placed on the list because of “the unacceptable risk that the company contributes to or is responsible for flagrant corruption”. The fund has a 1.2% stake in the Canadian company, according to data from Refinitiv.

Investigations into the business jet maker found the company or its subsidiaries could be linked to allegations or suspicions of corruption in six countries over more than a decade, the fund’s ethics board said.

All of the cases relate to bribes or suspicious transactions amounting to more than $100 million to win contracts for Bombardier subsidiaries, he said. But he noted that Bombardier divested its transportation division, to which the majority of corruption allegations were linked, in 2021.

Bombardier did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters outside of normal business hours.

Adani Ports may be contributing to “serious” human rights abuses due to its involvement in the construction of a port terminal in military-run Myanmar, the fund said. The fund holds a 0.7% stake in the company, according to Refinitiv.

Last year, Adani Ports said it was abandoning plans to build a container terminal in Myanmar and expected to exit investment entirely by June. The fund, however, said there was great uncertainty as to when such a withdrawal might be implemented.

“Like our global peers, we are carefully monitoring the situation in Myanmar and will engage with relevant authorities and stakeholders to seek their guidance on the way forward,” Adani said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hyundai Glovis, a unit of Hyundai Motor Group, has been disposing of decommissioned ships by scrapping them on beaches in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where working conditions are extremely poor, contributing to rights abuses rights, the fund said.

This practice, known as stranding, also causes serious environmental damage.

Hyundai Glovis, whose fund holds 0.81% according to Refinitiv, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The fund also said it had excluded Chinese sportswear maker Li Ning from the investment due to an “unacceptable risk” that the company was contributing to serious human rights abuses in Xinjiang. , in China.

The company, which has endorsement deals with some U.S. NBA players, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. -Reuter