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Selling from Russia is a simple statement and a difficult step to carry out

British Columbia’s public pension company, BCI, had sold its Russian holdings before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and international sanctions stopped the process.

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British Columbia’s public pension fund had sold the holdings of Russian state-owned enterprises before the Russian state-owned enterprises provocatively invaded Ukraine, the company’s CEO said Tuesday.

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“BCI has been working to not only sell Russian shares in our client’s portfolio, but also remove Russia from all global and emerging market indexes,” said BC Investment Management, CEO under the name BCI. One Gordon Fyfe says.

“Usually we don’t publicly comment on investment activity, but given Russia’s malicious behavior, it’s important to make an exception,” said the BC opposition to pressure divestment. Called Fyfe said.

BCI manages $ 200 billion in pension assets on behalf of 690,000 civil servants and retirees. At one point, this included $ 130 million in shares of Russian state-owned energy companies and major banks.

Fyfe said it has stopped selling BCI due to international sanctions, trading restrictions and Russia’s ban on overseas sales of Russian securities, but “will continue to work on selling the remaining $ 107 million of Russian stock.” ..

In a statement, Fyfe said, “Holding Russian securities in our portfolio does not match our value as an organization or the value of our clients, and our hearts are to the Ukrainian people. I am aware that it is being directed. “

The BCI said in a previous statement that the fund had minimal exposure to Russia and was subject to existing Canadian sanctions, but did not indicate what other steps it was taking.

Alberta Investment Management CEO Evan Siddall hasn’t elaborated on how AIMCo will achieve it in a tweet, but after the company announced that it would “sell a small number of Russian positions as soon as possible.” There was increased pressure to make further statements. Step.

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Following that statement, BC opposition leader Shirley Bond reiterated the legislative Liberal Party’s request for Treasury Minister Serena Robinson to take action to remove these assets on Tuesday.

“Again, what concrete actions will be taken by the Minister of Finance to ensure that these funds are sold?” Bond asked.

“BCI has heard of the house’s position,” Robinson said, although it is legally prohibited to direct pension fund managers, and “acted” hours before Fyfe issued a BCI statement. Wake up. “

But disposing of the remaining assets cannot be accompanied by a sale, at least while the Russian stock market remains closed, Wealth Manager John Nicola said.

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“As a matter of fact, there is no stock market,” said Nicola, CEO of Nicola Wealth. “Therefore, it’s an interesting position, but it may not have concrete consequences for a very long time, perhaps until the sanctions are lifted.”

According to Werner Antweiler, an economist at BC University, BCI could cancel the value of the remaining investment in the meantime, but finds it difficult to sell even if the Russian market reopens.

“Now we are in a situation where you want to sell an asset in a foreign country that is sanctioned,” Antweiler said. “So who should be the buyer other than the Russian state?”

Later, he said, sanctions on Russian financial institutions would also make it difficult to sell shares.

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And stocks as financial instruments “can’t just be destroyed,” Antweiler said. “Beverage bottles imported from BC liquor stores cannot be taken out of the shelves.”

Quebec’s public pension fund, the Quebec Investment Trust Bank, said last week that it had disposed of “specific investments made before sanctions passed” related to Russia, according to Reuters. The news agency also reported that Canada’s largest pension fund, the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, has no direct exposure to Russia and minimal indirect exposure.

depenner@postmedia.com

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Selling from Russia is a simple statement and a difficult step to carry out

Source link Selling from Russia is a simple statement and a difficult step to carry out

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