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Ethics watchdog for Norway's $830 billion wealth fund sees increase in bans on firms

The ethics watchdog for Norway's $830-billion wealth fund will focus this year on identifying corruption in telecoms, arms and energy companies and expects to recommend that an increasing number of firms across all sectors be barred from investment.By the end of this year, the fund which invests income from Norway's oil and gas production could add the first companies to its blacklist for emitting too much climate changing gas, said the chairman of its independent ethics panel, Johan H. Andresen.The ethics panel will also look into allegations of human rights abuses in Qatar's building sector, Malaysia's electronics goods industry, and textile factories in some Asian countries, Andresen told Reuters...Norway's parliament has set a new mandate from this year to restrict investment in companies that emit excessive climate changing gases. Andresen said his panel was still looking into the criteria for such judgments but its first recommendations on climate criteria could come by the end of the year...Andresen...said: "Companies should aspire to be far better ... They should not try to guess what is the least amount of good behavior that is expected." [Refers to Petrobras]