Monday, June 7, 2010

Swedish bank Nordea (ND.SK) Monday said its ethical funds had sold off all investments in BP $BP #BP

   STOCKHOLM (Dow Jones)--Swedish bank Nordea (ND.SK) Monday said its ethical
funds had sold off all investments in BP (BP.LN) following the company's
handling of the oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
  "The company has failed to comply with its own safety and environmental
rules, according to the information available," the bank said.
  The bank added that BP hasn't disclosed enough information about how other
similar operations are managed from a safety and environmental perspective.
  Sasja Beslik, head of Responsible Investments & Governance at Nordea, told
Dow Jones Newswires that the investments were worth around EUR10 million.
  "The other Nordea funds are not allowed to buy any shares in BP," he said,
"but they can keep them for now."
  He wouldn't say if Nordea would consider ordering its regular funds to sell
BP shares. "We are still looking for more information," he said. "I can't
speculate about that now."

  Meanwhile, Norwegian pension funds holding 1.75% of BP shares are managed by
Norges Bank Investment Management, the asset-management unit of the Norwegian
central bank. When asked if it too would sell BP shares, it said: "We never
comment on investments. If a company is under ethical scrutiny, it is a
question for the Finance Ministry. And a process like that usually takes quite
a while."
  Two other leading BP shareholders, BlackRock Inc. (BLK) and Legal & General
Group PLC (LGEN.LN), declined to comment about the matter.
  BP spokesman Mark Salt said: "We feel we have been extremely transparent all
the way through our response." The company has answered all investor questions
where required, and Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward led an hour-long call
with investors last week, he said.
  Salt declined to comment on Nordea's claim that BP failed to comply with its
safety rules. "We have presented initial findings of our investigation a couple
of weeks ago... we've got to let the investigations run their course," he said.
  Company website:
  -By Johan Anderberg, Dow Jones Newswires; +46 (0) 8 545 130 97;
  (James Herron contributed to this article.)
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