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Norway's sovereign wealth fund to sue Volkswagen

The world's largest wealth fund, Norges Bank Investment Management, is to sue Volkswagen over the global emissions-cheating scandal. The German car manufacturer already looks set to lose billions in similar lawsuits.

The chief executive of the fund's manager Norges Bank Investment Management, Peter Johnsen, told the "Financial Times" on Sunday that as an investor, it was their "responsibility to safeguard the fund's holding in Volkswagen."

"We have been advised by our lawyers that the company's conduct gives rise to legal claims under German law," Johnsen said.

Norway's sovereign wealth fund, which holds shares in approximately 9,000 companies worldwide, already announced in October that it had suffered losses due to the fall in Volkswagen shares.

'Dieselgate'

Volkswagen sparked the global Dieselgate scandal last year following revelations that illegal software had been installed on 11 million diesel engines to cheat emissions tests.

Measures to replace the faulty hardware, as well as a slew of lawsuits from angry car owners and shareholders seeking damages, are set to cost the firm billions.

Volkswagen has set aside 16.2 billion euros ($19 billion) in provisions to cover the costs, resulting in its first annual loss since 1993.

Investigations into the causes of the scandal are still ongoing, but VW leadership said last week that "no clear and serious violations of duty" by current or former board members had been found to date.

Watch video 00:58

Cost of VW emissions scandal

ksb/jil (AFP, Reuters)

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