AIMCo looking to offload $99M in Russian assets

Alberta Investment Management Corporation is diving about $99 million worth of assets tied to Russian securities.

AIMCo said Tuesday it was making the move in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a week ago.

“It reflects a change in the price of geopolitical risk and sustained impairment to the underlying value of the respective companies. We have a fiduciary obligation to our clients to act in their best interests and we believe this decision aligns with our investment objectives, policies, and prudent investment of capital,” a statement from the fund manager read.

The amount of direct and indirect investments was current as of market close on Feb. 28 and accounted for 0.06 per cent of AIMCo’s $160 billion assets under management.

AIMCo’s only direct exposure to Russia is in the form of public equities. The $99 million represents 0.16 per cent of AIMCo’s $48.7-billion public equities portfolio.

“We continue to divest all Russian securities as conditions permit, recognizing that at present trading in Russian securities has been curtailed by regulatory authorities,” AIMCo noted.

It also committed to not purchasing Russian assets while conflict or financial sanctions were ongoing.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he appreciated the move and called on Canada’s government to take similar action.

“If there are plutocrats associated with the Putin regime that have assets, I think the Government of Canada should use every legal means at its disposal to freeze such assets,” he told reporters during a news conference in Red Deer on Tuesday.

“The Government of Alberta does not have the power to do so, but we would be happy to cooperate with the federal government as necessary on that.”

He said he did not know how much Russian money had been invested in Canadian energy infrastructure and companies.

BC’s public sector pension fund also announced on Tuesday it was “actively working” to sell its remaining Russian securities, which totaled $107 million.

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