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Norway is moving to drop Russian assets from its $1.3trn sovereign wealth fund in response to Russia’s military attack over Ukraine, reported Bloomberg.
The government is planning to freeze Russian holdings in the fund and offload them in due course, Norway Prime Minister Jonas Store told reporters.
According to the country’s finance minister Trygve Vedum, Norges Bank Investment Management had about $2.8bn (NOK25bn) in Russian assets at the end of the year.
Vedum said: “We want to give a very clear and unequivocal response that the type of abuse we have seen in recent times cannot be accepted and it is therefore natural for Norway to withdraw its investments from the Russian market.”
The Oslo-based fund was set up in the 1990s to invest Norway’s oil and gas revenue in foreign countries.
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Since 2004, the fund has struck to strict ethical guidelines, including a ban on some weapons, tobacco, and most exposure to coal.
It currently manages a portfolio of about 9,000 stocks in publicly traded companies.
Line Aaltvedt, a spokeswoman for the fund, told the news agency that the fund is freezing its account holdings in Russia and it will neither buy nor sell Russian assets.
It is expected to collaborate with the ministry to make a plan to sell out of Russia, she said.
The timeline for the exit was not disclosed.
As of the end of 2020, the fund’s major equity holdings in Russia were inSberbank of Russia, Gazprom, a state-controlled multinational energycompany, and petroleum firm Lukoil.