Infotech

BlackRock has stopped buying Russian securities since the invasion of Ukraine



BlackRock, the global asset management giant, said it stopped buying Russian stocks in its actively managed and index funds after Russia invaded Ukraine. The company with more than 10,000 billion dollars in assets communicated Thursday to explain that this suspension was effective since last Monday.

The company headed by Larry Fink is also pressuring index providers to remove Russian stocks from diversified indices, the statement sent by BlackRock said. Rich Kushel, head of multi-asset and fixed income strategies, and Salim Ramji, global head of iShares and index investing, explained that Russian stocks make up less than 0.01% of BlackRock’s client assets. Most of these assets are housed in index funds.

Get out of positions in Russian securities

“We will continue to actively consult with regulators, index providers and other market participants to ensure that our clients can exit their positions in Russian securities, when and where regulatory and market conditions permit,” the leaders said.

Western sanctions imposed on Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine prompted international investors to shy away from Russian assets, now shunned from the markets. However, Russian authorities have banned local brokers from selling securities held by foreigners. Caught between client withdrawals and the inability to sell, a number of managers decided to freeze their funds.

Index providers FTSE Russell and MSCI said on Wednesday they were removing Russian stocks from all of their indexes. The decision of FTSE Russell will be effective from March 7, that of MSCI at the close of markets on March 9.

Polymetal

Last week, BlackRock completed a 12 million pound ($16 million) deal in shares of Russian precious metals specialist Polymetal International. Polymetal shares, which have tumbled 86% this year, will be removed from the FTSE 100 index from March 21.

“This transaction would not be permitted under the policy that BlackRock put in place on Monday,” the asset manager said in its statement. “We acted as quickly as possible in close coordination with many other parties to meet the needs of our customers in a very complex and fluid situation. »

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