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Russia prevents New York pension schemes from selling $300 million worth of stock

New York’s pension systems want to invest nearly $300 million invested in Moscow’s stock market, but can’t because Russia has barred foreigners from selling stocks.

Since Russia began its invasion and brutal attacks on Ukraine, the trustees of all five NYC employee pension schemes have voted to sell $185.9 million in Russian companies and securities.

“A vicious and unjust war continues against Ukraine, resulting in civilian deaths, destruction and displacement. New Yorkers remain steadfast in solidarity with Ukrainians here in our city and abroad,” City Comptroller Brad Lander, who oversees pension systems, said in a statement.

The city aims to “hold accountable the Putin regime and those who continue to fund it, while protecting the assets of thousands of active members and beneficiaries,” he said.

The city wants to “hold accountable the Putin regime and those who continue to fund it."
New York City wants to “hold accountable the Putin regime and those who continue to fund it.”
EPA

On Friday, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, sole trustee of the state employee pension scheme, ordered the divestiture of an estimated $110.8 million sunk in Russian securities.

Of the city’s funds invested in Russian companies, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme holds the most – $90 million, followed by the Police Pension Fund ($42.2 million); NYCERS, whose members include correctional, clerical and sanitation workers ($31.1 million); the NYC Fire Pension Fund ($19.5 million); and the Board of Education Pension Scheme ($3.1 million).

But Russia has stymied New York’s pension schemes and others across the country looking to divest. Moscow closed its stock market to foreigners on February 25 – a tough move seen as retaliation for the US and Europe’s freeze on assets of Russia’s central bank.

On Friday, the aforementioned State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli ordered the disposal of an estimated $110.8 million sunk in Russian securities.
On Friday, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli ordered the disposal of an estimated $110.8 million sunk in Russian securities.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Pension systems will continue to hold investments while waiting for Moscow to lift the restriction.

“When the Russian stock market reopens, we will prudently close these positions,” a spokesman for Lander said.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/26/russia-blocks-ny-pension-systems-from-dumping-300m-in-stocks/ Russia prevents New York pension schemes from selling $300 million worth of stock

JACLYN DIAZ

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