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Norwegian pension fund ditches alcohol, gambling and pornography

[OSLO] The largest pension fund in Norway announced Tuesday it was blacklisting companies profiting from alcohol, gambling and pornography, and said it was divesting shares in well-known companies like Carlsberg and William Hill.

KLP, which manages some US$80 billion in assets, has sold its shares in about 90 companies that receive more than five per cent of their revenue from alcohol or betting.

The holdings accounted for about $320 million of the fund's assets.

"Responsible alcohol consumption and gambling can be positive elements in people's lives," KLP's CEO Sverre Thornes said in a statement.

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"We acknowledge, however, that alcohol and gambling addiction have major negative consequences for individuals and their loved ones, as well as great costs for society," he continued.

The decision affects major brands, such as brewers Carlsberg, Heineken and Royal Unibrew as well as spirit makers Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Remy Cointreau and Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits arm of the luxury giant LVMH.

Online betting groups, such as William Hill or Betsson, were also dropped from the portfolio.

The pension fund also decided to ban companies who earn revenue from the production of pornography but said it didn't have any investments in such companies.

AFP