Massive Norwegian state fund to divest from Israeli company

Ethics board finds Shikun and Binui ‘in breach of international humanitarian law in East-Jerusalem’

Construction in Har Homa in 2012. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Construction in Har Homa in 2012. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

Norway’s Ministry of Finance announced Friday that a  state fund that is Europe’s largest equity investor would no longer invest in Israeli construction company Shikun and Binui.

Oslo said the decision to cut Shikun and Binui from the Government Pension Fund Global, commonly known as the oil fund, came on the heels of a recommendation from a state ethics board, which found the company was in contravention of international law by being involved in building projects in East Jerusalem.

“The exclusion is based on an evaluation of the future risk that the company will contribute to serious violations of the rights of individuals in war or conflict,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ethics board’s recommendation listed a residential project in Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, near the capital’s Arnona neighborhood, as cause for the move, as well as a 1994 project in the Maaleh Adumim settlement and the involvement of subsidiary Solel Boneh in projects over the Green Line, including in Har Homa.

The oil fund, worth some $587 billion, had previously divested from Israeli firms Danya Cebus and Africa Israel investments for involvement in projects in the West Bank.

The oil fund had owned about $1.4 million worth of shares in Shikun and Binui before the announcement.

Shikun and Binui, also known as Housing and Construction, is Israel’s largest construction firm, with residential and infrastructure subsidiaries. Owned by the Arison Group, the company had a market cap of about $700 million as of Friday.



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