Norway Excludes Nuclear Arms Component Makers From Oil Fund

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund excluded U.S.-based engineering companies Babcock & Wilcox Co. and Jacobs Engineering Group Inc from its investment portfolio because of their production of nuclear arms components.

The $700 billion Government Pension Fund Global has sold its shares in both companies, the Finance Ministry said in an e-mailed statement today. The ministry, which sets the fund’s investment guidelines, also ended its exclusion of BAE Systems Plc, Finmeccanica SpA and FMC Corp. Siemens AG was removed from an observation list after making progress on anti-corruption efforts, the ministry said.

“During the observation period, Siemens had demonstrated both a willingness and an ability to transform the company’s culture,” the Oslo-based ministry said in a statement.

The world’s largest wealth fund takes into account ethical rules encompassing human rights, some weapons production, the environment and tobacco when deciding on its investments. It has excluded about 50 companies, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc, following recommendations from the ministry’s Ethics Council. The exclusions are announced after the shares are sold.

The fund held shares valued at about 188 million kroner ($34 million) in B&W, 208 million kroner in Jacobs Engineering and about 11.4 billion kroner in Siemens as of the end of 2011, according to the most recent data available on its website.

BAE Systems and Finmeccanica, which had previously been excluded due to their production of nuclear weapons, told the ministry missile production had been completed. FMC, which was excluded in 2011 due to purchases of phosphate from Western Sahara, no longer buys phosphate from the region and doesn’t have any plans to do so in the future, the ministry said.

Michelle Jones, a spokeswoman at Jacobs, and Aimee Mills, a spokeswoman at Babcock & Wilcox, didn’t immediately respond to messages left at their offices.