volkswagen znak.jpg
Photograph: Photo by Bruno Kussler Marques, used under CC BY

One of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds on Monday said it was considering a lawsuit against German car giant Volkswagen over the emissions scandal related to its diesel cars.

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, which is also one of the carmaker's larger owners, said it "intends to join a legal action against Volkswagen," citing that the company "provided incorrect emissions data."

"It is the board's responsibility to ensure accurate and timely information is disclosed to the shareholders," said Norges Bank Investment Management, the central bank unit that manages the pension fund, in a statement emailed to dpa.

The Norwegian pension fund was at the end of March worth about 850 billion dollars. Its holdings in Volkswagen were at the end of December valued at 750 million dollars.

"Volkswagen informed the public about the incorrect emissions data after US authorities released a notice of violation letter," the statement added.

This referred to revelations about VW diesel cars' ability to circumvent emissions tests that was made public in September by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The company subsequently admitted that more than 11 million of its vehicles were fitted with so-called "defeat devices."

Volkswagen faces a string of lawsuits from institutional investors  and other groups seeking compensation.

The Norwegian fund said it was "evaluating the expertise and the economics of each litigation group that has emerged in this case."

The fund had no further comment related to legal advisors.

The Norwegian fund had holdings in 9,050 companies at the end of 2015. It also invests in bonds and real estate. It was set up 1996 to invest income from the country's petroleum and gas sectors. 

The fund has a 1.64-per-cent voting share in the German carmaker but is not on VW's supervisory board, according to Bloomberg data cited by the Financial Times newspaper.

Earlier, the Financial Times quoted Petter Johnsen, chief investment officer for equity strategies at the central bank's investment management unit about the plans.

"We have been advised by our lawyers that the company's conduct gives rise to legal claims under German law," said Johnsen. "As an investor it is our responsibility to safeguard the fund's holding in Volkswagen."

"Volkswagen management should have known about the manipulative engine-management devices," he said.

The report said the fund has informed VW's supervisory board chairman, Hans Dieter Poetsch, of the decision. 

Related stories

Latest news

Messi's last minute penalty saves Barcelona from shock draw

Barcelona beat Leganes 2-1 with a last minute penalty from Lionel Messi in the Spanish first division on Sunday.

At least 30 injured after explosion in Bogota

A explosion in the Macarena area of Bogota injured at least 30 people on Sunday, many of them police officers who were guarding a bull running through the streets of the Colombian capital.

Vojvodina institutions hold conference on Bunjevci's non-Croat ethnic background

There are around 16,000 members of the Bunjevci community in Vojvodina who deny their Croat ethnic background. They are represented by the Bunjevci National Council which enjoys the support of state authorities, and, since the change of government in Vojvodina, of the provincial authorities as well.

SpaceX rocket blasts off from historic launch pad en route to ISS

A commercial rocket built by SpaceX is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) with a load of research equipment, cargo and supplies, NASA said Sunday.

Defence deals worth 1.2 billion dollars announced at key UAE show

Deals worth nearly 4.4 billion dirhams (1.2 billion dollars) were reached at a major defence show that opened Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an official said.

Thousands protest in Malta against controversial press law reforms

Thousands of people attended a demonstration in Malta on Sunday, answering a call by the main opposition party to protest against what it described as a threat to democracy and freedom of expression.

London's mayor calls for Trump's state visit to be cancelled

US President Donald Trump should be denied a state visit to Britain due to his "cruel and shameful" immigration policies, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Sunday.

'Now more than ever': US scientists gird for confrontation with Trump

Normally any annual gathering of American scientists is relatively non-political. But, with Donald Trump in the White House, things are different at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Many researchers are worried about their future and are urging colleagues to protest - and remain vigilant.

Int'l conference on post-war monuments in post-communist Europe held in Zagreb

The event was organised by the Zagreb-based association SF:ius in cooperation with the Croatian chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

Serbians wouldn't go to war for Kosovo - poll

A majority of citizens in Serbia wouldn't go to war to claim back Kosovo, shows a survey conducted by the Serbian nongovernmental organisation "Belgrade Centre for Security Policy".

Grabar-Kitarovic, Lavrov find solution to air pollution caused by Bosanski Brod oil refinery

Croatia and Russia have found a solution for the problem of air pollution caused by a Russian-owned oil refinery in Bosanski Brod, northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been poisoning residents of Slavonski Brod, a town across the Sava River in Croatia, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in Munich on Sunday.

Istria border police discover 20 migrants in van

During routine border control, police in the northern Croatian Adriatic region of Istria on Saturday discovered 20 migrants in a van driven by a Croatian national, the Ministry of the Interior said.