The minority government of Norway has stated that the $1.3 trillion wealth fund should not have Saudi stocks in the reference index, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported on Friday.
According to The Globe and Mail, the fund’s reference index would now be cut to around 6,600 companies from 8,800, Norway’s Finance Ministry stated in its annual recommendation to parliament.
According to the ministry, the fund should also not add more companies from emerging markets, including from Saudi Arabia, to the index governing its investment.
Reuters reported that the move reflects the growing awareness among international investors about risks to the environmental and social and corporate governance (ESG), in which the Norwegian wealth fund has often set the pace.
The fund held stocks in 24 Saudi companies worth $188.1 million as of the end of last year, Reuters reported.