Canadian asset manager Purpose Investments said on Thursday it had divested all direct holdings of Russian companies as of Feb. 28 and pledged to stop new investments as long as Russia’s invasion continued.
“We simply do not feel that it’s appropriate to have our clients’ capital supporting Russian companies or businesses that are engaged in direct business in Russia”, CEO and founder Som Seif said in a statement.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, suspended the purchase of all Russian securities in its active and index funds on Monday, two executives said, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We also have proactively advocated with our index providers to remove Russian securities from broad-based indices,” Rich Kushel, head of the portfolio management group for BlackRock, and Salim Ramji, global head of iShares and index investments for BlackRock, said in a joint statement on Thursday.
Russian securities account for less than 0.01% of their clients’ assets, they said.
Western sanctions on Moscow after it invaded Ukraine last week have prompted a wave of investors to announce they were cutting positions in Russia. Authorities in Russia, however, have banned local brokers from selling securities held by foreigners.
BlackRock said earlier this week it was consulting with regulators, index providers, and other market participants to ensure its clients could exit their positions in Russian securities, where allowed.
Major index providers FTSE Russell and MSCI said on Wednesday they were removing Russian equities from all their indexes. FTSE Russell said the decision will be effective from March 7, while MSCI said its decision will be implemented in one step across all MSCI indexes as of the close of trading on March 9.
“We will continue actively consulting with regulators, index providers and other market participants to help ensure our clients can exit their positions in Russian securities, whenever and wherever regulatory and market conditions allow,” the executives said on Thursday.
Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.