Jan 31, 2023
Norway Fund Says Russia Exit Held Up by Sanctions on Its Bank
(Bloomberg) -- Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund is barred from proceeding with the planned divestment of its $292 million of worth of Russian holdings as the custodian bank is under sanctions.
“The concrete and practical problem is that the custodian bank that we use is under sanctions, and can’t assist us with settlement of transactions, and neither with voting on shares” in Russian companies, Trond Grande, deputy chief executive officer, told reporters at a news conference in Oslo on Tuesday. “So therefore the situation is deadlocked. There is no way we can either sell or buy or vote on these shares.”
Just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Norway decided to shed Russian assets from the fund, though its management had initially warned against such a plan. Details of its portfolio at year-end released on Tuesday show a loss of about $2.8 billion from those holdings compared with their value at the end of 2021.
The Oslo-based fund is the world’s biggest owner of publicly traded companies with a portfolio of more than 9,000 stocks.
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