- We think there is a clear financial as well as a moral case for divestment with respect to our Russian holdings.
- We’ve been selling our Russian assets – we’ve approximately halved our equity investments relating to Russia in the last several weeks.
- As at 1 March 2022, around 0.5% of the scheme’s c.£90bn portfolio is connected to Russia. We will be looking to sell these assets but, in the current environment and for obvious reasons, very little is trading.
- As markets reopen and when liquidity returns, we will look for opportunities to sell. It is clearly difficult to predict how this will play out.
A USS spokesperson said: “Like many others, we have been shocked and saddened by the events of the last few days and our thoughts and prayers go out to those suffering in Ukraine in the wake of Russian aggression.
“In terms of our own position, there is clearly a financial as well as a moral case for divestment with respect to our Russian holdings.
“In the light of these circumstances we have placed a moratorium on new long positions taken in all Russian assets which is over and above full compliance with UK government sanctions restricting trading in sovereign debt and other Russian assets.
“Where we are not in direct control (for pooled funds, for example), we will encourage managers to respect the moratorium, in line with our exclusions policy.
“Where we have existing investments, we will need to consider our position carefully in the light of trading restrictions.”