More investors join Russia exodus, find it hard to leave

© Reuters.

By Simon Jessop and Karin Strohecker

LONDON (Reuters) -The Church of England has joined a growing list of investors looking to exit Russian assets after Ukraine was attacked, although doing so is likely to become harder.

The Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board said they had instructed fund managers on Feb. 24 to sell their direct holdings in Russian companies in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The church said it would also make no further investments in Russian companies.

“Prior to the instruction, holdings across portfolios in Russian companies represented approximately 0.16% of total investments. No investments were held in Russian sovereign debt,” a spokesperson said on Monday.

The move follows news over the weekend that Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, planned to do the same, and as the New York City Comptroller said he weas reviewing assets for possible divestment.

However, investor looking to sell will likely find it harder to do so.

Russia’s central bank ordered market participants to reject attempts by foreign clients to sell Russian securities.

Meanwhile, Euroclear said on Monday it has closed its link to rival settlement house Clearstream Banking for settling trades in Russian securities in response to European Union financial sanctions.

Church of England joins investors looking to exit Russian assets

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