Norway’s KLP fund terminates all gambling investments

Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) Norway’s €70 billion public pension fund has confirmed that it will no longer invest in gambling or alcohol-related enterprises.

Business news sources have reported that KLP governance has sanctioned a complete sale of its holdings in gambling and alcohol businesses, impacting around 90 firms.

Moving forward, KLP states that it will no longer invest in companies that generate more than 5% of revenues from gambling and alcohol-related activities.

KLP reaffirms that it has undertaken its decision as part of its ‘ethical investment mandate’, which sees the pension fund withdraw its holdings from Stockholm listed online gambling operator Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) and leading Nordic alcohol wholesaler Arcus.

As part of KLP’s social responsibility mandate, this May the pension fund announced that it would divest completely from investing in companies that generate more than 5% of revenues from coal.

Updating stakeholders KLP chief executive Sverre Thornes said: “This is not just about what gives the highest return, but also about our investments contributing to a positive and sustainable social development. Now we have, after good conversations with our customers and owners, decided to withdraw from alcohol and gambling.”

KLP’s position on gambling investments, follows the Norwegian government authorising gambling regulator Lottstift to impose its ‘toughest stance’ on foreign gambling enterprises.

In 2018, management of Norway’s $1 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund would face political criticism, as news reports detailed that the fund had invested in a number of foreign online gambling operators, undermining state-owned operator Norsk Tipping’s fundraising support for national projects and social initiatives.

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