The central bank of Norway has announced that it will cease to include the Thai oil and gas company PTT Public Company Limited (SET: PTT) and its subsidiary PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited (SET: OR) from investment by the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global due to their relation with the military-led government in Myanmar.
The Council on Ethics issued its recommendation on the exclusion on 10 May 2022. It wrote in the recommendation, stating that PTT Public Company Limited (SET: PTT) and its subsidiary PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited (SET: OR) are recommended to be excluded from investment by the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) due to an unacceptable risk that the companies are contributing to serious violation of the rights of individuals in situations of war and conflict. The council stated that the recommendation relates to the companies’ activities in Myanmar.
PTT’s subsidiary, PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (SET: PTTEP), is parting with the state-owned oil company Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) in three offshore gas fields in Myanmar. Meanwhile, OR is a partner in a joint venture with the military-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) for the construction and operation of an oil terminal and a liquid natural gas (LNG) filling facility.
The council noted that after the coup in February 2021 by the armed forces in Myanmar in which the military intensified its extremely serious abuses of civilians, PTT and OR provided the armed forces with substantial revenue streams that could finance military operations and abuses through their activities in the country.
The council added that PTT and OR’s business partnerships with MOGE and MEC represented an unacceptable risk of contributing to extremely serious norm abuses in the future.
According to sources close to the matter, PTT group has received a number of letters from governments around the world, calling its group to cease all operations in Myanmar. The source said that the group company responded to those letters after receiving an acknowledgement from the Thai Foreign Affair, stating that the group company has no relation to the coup or violation of human rights. The investment in Myanmar was entirely for the energy security in Thailand.
However, some raised suspicions on the position of an American multinational energy corporation Chevron that currently holds a majority share in Yadana Project at 41.1016%, but did not come under pressure from governments around the world demanding the American corporate to divest its operation in Myanmar. Other major shareholders are a subsidiary of PTT, PTTEPI, holding 37.0842% and MOGE holding 21.8142% of stake.