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Dow Jones Newswires: New Zealand government investment funds to sell their Russian holdings

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By Stephen Wright

WELLINGTON, New Zealand–New Zealand government-linked investment funds said they will sell holdings of Russian sovereign debt and securities of Russian state-owned companies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The four funds have about 115 billion New Zealand dollars ($78 billion) under management in total. Their exposure to Russia is a small fraction of their assets.

A joint statement Thursday said the funds were excluding specific Russian assets based on their ethical investment policies and would sell their holdings when market conditions permit.

New Zealand’s government has been limited in how far it can go in punishing Russia over its invasion of Ukraine due to not having an autonomous sanctions law.

New Zealand Super Fund, which is the largest of the four funds with NZ$58 billion of assets, had NZ$3.13 million of Russian bonds and NZ$2.82 million of shares in companies with majority Russian government ownership as of Feb. 24. The value of those holdings, all via passive funds, would have subsequently dropped due to the slide in the ruble.

The other funds are Accident Compensation Corporation, Government Superannuation Fund and National Provident Fund.

The statement said the four funds don’t apply country-wide company exclusions but will monitor individual companies on a case-by-case basis in the event they are linked to the war and meet the threshold for exclusion.

Write to Stephen Wright at stephen.wright@wsj.com

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