By Carolyn Cohn
LONDON (Reuters) – French asset manager Carmignac said on Monday it would not buy Russian securities and would divest from existing assets, following a raft of other fund managers who have made similar announcements following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Asset managers such as BlackRock (NYSE:) and abrdn are halting purchases of Russian securities or plan to reduce existing holdings as western governments impose tough sanctions on Russia.
But efforts by investors to cut positions have been complicated by a Russian ban on local brokers from selling securities held by foreigners.
“We have decided not to purchase any Russian securities until further notice,” Carmignac, which has 42 billion euro ($45.6 billion) in assets under management, said in a statement.
“We are committed to divesting from any remaining Russian securities in our portfolios, considering extra-financial aspects as well as market conditions, in order to preserve the interests of our clients, our primary objective.”
The firm’s emerging market fund Carmignac Portfolio EM Debt had the world’s longest Russia debt position in January at over 43%, industry tracker Morningstar data shows.
Carmignac has already cut its position in Russian debt as well as in shares and the rouble, a spokesperson said.
“Since the end of January, we have adopted a more cautious position and have either reduced our exposures in the wake of the deterioration of the situation and/or implemented some hedging strategies.”
Carmignac funds that contain Russian assets have no more than 2% in Russia, the spokesperson added.
Vanguard Group also said on Monday it had implemented international sanctions imposed against Russian institutions and is working to further reduce its exposure to Russia.
JPMorgan (NYSE:) said its London-listed global emerging markets income trust had only 0.25% in Russian equities as of March 4, versus 3.6% at the end of January.
Fidelity, JOHCM and Invesco have cut Russia exposure in emerging market funds in the last few weeks, according to a report by Morningstar on Monday.
“There are a small number of portfolios at Invesco which have equity holdings in companies with activities tied to Russia or Ukraine but this exposure is very small, as is our aggregate exposure relative to our overall assets,” Invesco said in a statement.
More than $3 billion in unlisted funds exposed to Russia were suspended last week, while several exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were also frozen.
($1 = 0.9206 euros)
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