3 Mar 2022

NZ state-owned investors to sell Russian assets

2:28 pm on 3 March 2022

The country's biggest state-owned or linked institutional investors have confirmed they are trying to sell some of their assets associated with the Russian Federation and Russian government.

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Photo: 123rf

The NZ Superfund, ACC, the Government Superannuation Fund, and the National Provident Fund all issued a joint statement saying they were working toward selling as a response to the strong government and international condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"The four investors will sell their directly held assets as market conditions permit."

They said the divestments were in accordance with their respective responsible investment and ethical policies.

"The policies provide for sovereign bond exclusions when there is widespread condemnation or sanctions by the international community and New Zealand has imposed meaningful diplomatic, economic or military sanctions aimed at that government."

The assets to be sold would be Russian Federation sovereign debt and the securities of majority Russian state-owned enterprises, but there would not be a blanket ban on all Russian investment.

"Companies are not excluded based solely on their Russian domicile as they may have no links or contribution to the aggression of the Russian state.

"The investors will monitor the activities of individual companies on a case-by-case basis in the event they are linked to the conflict and meet the threshold for conduct that would see them excluded," the statement said.

It's been estimated that four funds may have as much as $100 million in Russian investments.

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