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UK pension schemes have little direct exposure to Russia-regulator

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By Reuters

LONDON – British pension schemes have very little investment in Russian securities, The Pensions Regulator’s policy director said on Monday, though he added there were practical difficulties in selling them.

Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has led to many firms rushing to offload Russian assets, though Western sanctions and counter-measures by Russia have made it hard to do so.

“Russian stocks do make up a very small proportion of some global indices,” David Fairs, The Pensions Regulator’s

executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice, told a webinar.

“Our understanding is that as a whole, UK pension schemes have very little direct exposure to Russian assets.”

The Pensions Regulator updated its guidance to pension trustees on Sunday, saying it was aware that “a number of pension schemes and investment companies have written down any Russian assets held by the scheme to zero”.

It advised pension trustees to take note of sanctions when trying to sell Russian investments, and to be aware of heightened risk of cyber attacks and financial scams.

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority issued similar guidance on Sunday, after finance minister Rishi Sunak called on more British companies to wind down their existing investments in Russia and said new investments should be halted.