​Poor work conditions prompt Norway’s SWF to divest textile firms

first_img“The executive board agrees with the Council on Ethics that observation no longer seems to be the appropriate action as the company is not responding to enquires from the council,” Norges Bank said, but added that it considered active ownership to be an alternative.“The fund has regular dialogue with companies on anti-corruption issues, and can benefit from that experience in a dialogue with PetroChina Co Ltd,” the bank said.A spokesman for NBIM told IPE that apart from exercising voting rights, the manager’s definition of active ownership also involves expectation documents and many forms of dialogue.Explaining its recommendation to divest from PetroChina, the council said many senior executives at the firm and its subsidiaries had been accused of accepting bribes for the award of contracts to suppliers, and that the company had not shown that its efforts to prevent corruption were effective enough.Regarding Formosa Taffeta, the council said investigations into working conditions at its factory in Vietnam had identified numerous labour rights violations.Meanwhile, at Page Industries – which is licensed to produce clothing under the Jockey and Speedo brands – a probe into conditions at one factory identified many labour-rights violations, the council said.It added that Page Industries had not provided any information to help clarify the case.At the end of 2019, the GPFG had NOK1.4bn invested in PetroChina shares, representing a 0.17% holding in the company. It had NOK1.3bn invested in Formosa Chemicals & Fibre and NOK107.5m in the subsidiary Formosa Taffeta, according to Norges Bank data.The fund had NOK134.9m invested in Page Industries at the end of last year – 0.42% of the Indian firm’s voting capital.IPE was unable to get any reaction to the Norges Bank news from Formosa Chemicals & Fibre, Page Industries or PetroChina by deadline.Exclusion return impactsExclusions led Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) to miss out on 1.3 percentage points of return on an accumulated basis compared with an unrestricted equity benchmark in the period from its first exclusion in 2006 to the end of 2019, the manager revealed in a report this week.It said this translated into an average annual performance of 0.04 percentage point for the equity portfolio during this period, noting that annual management costs for the SWF came to just under 0.05 of a percentage point last year.The information was disclosed in a report charting how it became the single largest shareholder in the world and the evolution of restrictions on its investments – “This is the story of how we evolved from a reluctant to an active owner,” it said.According to a graph in the report, the -1.3 percentage point return impact was for all types of exclusion. However, conduct-based exclusions had a positive effect, and coal-linked exclusions little impact. The manager of Norway’s NOK10.1trn (€970bn) sovereign wealth fund (SWF) has banished three companies from its portfolio on human rights grounds, but in the same announcement said it was holding on to major Asian oil and gas company PetroChina despite its own advisory council recommending divestment.Norges Bank, the Norwegian central bank and manager of the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), said it has decided to exclude Taiwan-headquartered Formosa Chemicals & Fibre and its unit Formosa Taffeta Co, alongside Indian textiles firm Page Industries, because of alleged human rights violations related to textile production in Vietnam and India, respectively.The bank said these exclusion decisions were made based on recommendations from the Council on Ethics – the GPFG’s advisory body.The bank also announced that despite the council’s recommendations since 2016 to exclude PetroChina from the SWF’s portfolio, it had instead decided to follow the company’s work on anti-corruption as part of the fund’s active ownership efforts, for a period of three years. Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Lakers believe their defense is on the upswing

first_img Lonzo Ball says he will play in Lakers’ opener, ‘probably’ in Big Baller Brand Key Lakers games to watch in 2017-18 Lakers 2017-18 regular-season schedule The Lakers allowed 103.5 points in six exhibition games, but that average includes the outlier game when they held Sacramento to 69. They allowed 110.4 in the other five. Lakers 2017-18 roster breakdown Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error EL SEGUNDO — Allowing 111.5 points per game isn’t going to translate to much success in the NBA.That number belonged to the Lakers last season. Only two teams – Brooklyn (112.5) and Phoenix (113.3) – allowed more. But the Lakers still had the worst differential between points scored and allowed at minus 6.9. Consequently, they went 26-56.That’s why Coach Luke Walton has put a strong emphasis on defense during this preseason ahead of the Lakers’ regular-season opener Thursday against the Clippers at Staples Center.Related Articles Heisler: Hope returns for Lakers, however briefly Lakers hope ‘little things’ will land them big stars next summer AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersEven so, Walton and his players see progress.“Yeah, I love it,” Walton said Tuesday after practice. “Our guys have really committed and bought in to becoming a better defensive team. It’s still going to take time, obviously. But as long as they keep working the way they do and want to continue to get better the way they do, then we’ll be a very solid defensive team. I’m thrilled with the strides they’re making.”Walton was asked if he could pinpoint where his team needs to improve most in this regard, but he said it varies.“It’s funny, it kind of switches from day to day because we’ll make an emphasis of focusing on something that we didn’t do well the day before and then we’ll do that really well,” he said.“But as we do that really well, then we kind of slip in a different part of it. It’s kind of just continuing to get as many reps at maximum effort as we can.” Brandon Ingram – the Lakers’ second-year forward – is of a similar mind.“We’ve made strides in the preseason,” he said. “Of course, that last game (a 111-104 win over the Clippers’ B team on Friday) wasn’t so well. But we’ve made strides; we started trusting each other on the weak side.“Our individual D got better as the games went on, defensive rebounding got better as the games went on, so we made strides in every game.”Count fourth-year power forward Julius Randle among those who believe progress has been made.“We’ve had some pretty good showings in the preseason throughout, so we’re going to continue to get better,” said Randle, who is nursing an intercostal strain. “Obviously, it was a point of emphasis going into training camp, so we’ll continue to have that as a point of emphasis and we’ll continue to get better.”BOGUT COULD HELPCenter Andrew Bogut (groin) did not toil in any exhibition games. But he had a full practice Tuesday, and Walton said his defensive presence was felt during a scrimmage.“He did some nice things offensively, but defensively he was all over the place,” said Walton, who expects Bogut to play Thursday. “Had five or six blocks, bunch of rebounds. He was kind of the captain out there as far as telling people where to go, so it was nice to have that.”Ingram noticed, too.“He (Bogut) makes a big difference,” he said. “His defensive presence around the rim. He had a lot of vertical, a lot of blocked shots.”INJURY UPDATESWalton intimated it’s likely Randle will play Thursday, and Randle said he will definitely be ready. He played half-court 5-on-5 on Tuesday, but not full court. … Rookie guard Josh Hart has Achilles bursitis and is day-to-day, Walton said. … Fifth-year shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, in his first season with the Lakers, took an elbow to the nose during practice Monday and was to get it X-rayed sometime Tuesday to see if there is a break. He was suspended in June for the first two games of the regular season after pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. … Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball (left ankle sprain) had a full practice and is expected to play Thursday.last_img read more