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Norway’s KLP excludes two over Western Sahara minerals

Phosphate imports targeted by €32.5bn insurer

KLP, the NOK258.1bn (€32.5bn) Norwegian life insurer, has excluded two New York Stock Exchange-listed companies, FMC Corp. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, over their links to minerals extraction in the disputed Western Sahara region.
KLP has banned the Philadelphia-based chemicals firm and the Canadian fertilizer maker for importing phosphate from the area in contravention of an International Court of Justice ruling that Morocco has no legal claim on the territory and thus no claim on its natural resources.
“Extracting natural resources from occupied areas – Western Sahara in particular – was also declared illegal in 2002 by the UN Deputy Secretary General for Legal Issues,” said Jeanett Bergan, KLP’s manager of responsible investments. In 2007 KLP excluded Australian energy and fertilizer company Wesfarmers for the same reason.
The Norwegian government’s Global Pension Fund was among those who put pressure on energy concern Kerr-McGee to exit the region in the mid-1990s.
KLP, Kommunal Landspensjonskasse, has also excluded NYSE-listed Jacobs Engineering and McDermott International – because of nuclear weapons production.Jacobs is out due to the involvement of its Atomic Weapons Establishment joint venture in the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system. McDermott’s Barbock & Wilcox Co. subsidiary operates two nuclear weapons factories for the US government.
Pasadena-based Jacobs and Houston-based McDermott have previously been excluded by Dutch healthcare sector pension fund PGGM.
The exclusions are part of a half-yearly review by KLP, which uses analysis from consulting firm GES.
Two companies that were formerly excluded, Group 4 Securicor and United Technologies Corp., have been reinstated, which brings KLP’s total exclusions to 57. KLP says the former has “worked systematically” to improve workers’ rights. United Technologies had been excluded for its role in the US’s now discontinued MX ICBM nuclear weapon system. The Global Pension Fund reinstated United Technologies in March this year.
Last December KLP reinstated oil company Hess following “solid anti-corruption efforts”.
KLP is one of the backers of the Sustainable Value Creation Initiative, a group of Swedish and Norwegian institutional investors which seeks to promote sustainable development at listed companies. KLP’s announcement