February 14, 2018 / 9:47 AM / 8 days ago

Norway's oil fund should divest from gambling stocks, opposition says

OSLO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, should be forced to sell its stakes in companies involved in the gambling industry, according to a proposal by two opposition parties in the Norwegian parliament.

The wealth fund’s investments in gambling firms amounted to around 26 billion Norwegian crowns ($3.3 billion) at the start of the year, according to business website E24, which first reported the proposal on Wednesday.

Norway’s top opposition Labour Party and the smaller Christian Democrats said the country’s minority government should prepare the grounds for an exit from gambling investments as part of an annual review of the fund’s policies.

To win a majority for the proposal, the two opposition parties would need backing from the Socialist Left party and the Centre Party.

The sovereign fund is already forbidden from investing in producers of tobacco products, nuclear weapons and landmines, or are involved in serious and systematic human rights violations. It also faces restrictions on investments in the coal industry.

Casino operator MGM Resorts International and Swedish online betting firm Betsson were among the fund’s holdings, E24 added.

$1 = 7.8595 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg and Terje Solsvik; Editing by David Holmes

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