Idaho pension fund decides to get rid of Russian investments

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Idaho’s public pension system sells its stake in Russian assets after that country invades Ukraine.

The Idaho Public Employees Retirement System, or PERSI, announced it was exiting its Russian investments Thursday morning.

The statement did not specify how much of the $26.3 billion fund is invested in Russian assets. But according to Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise), PERSI’s chief investment officer, Chris Anton, told him those assets totaled about $7 million.

This is split between the Russian rouble, government bonds and a stake in Lukoil, a Russian oil company.

In an email to Gannon on March 1, Anton said Russia had banned the sale of its bonds in response to economic sanctions.

The email also said the State Insurance Fund had around $300,000 tied up in Russian stocks through a Vanguard index fund, although Anton believes those stocks will be removed in the near future.

Idaho joins several states, including California, Connecticut, Colorado and Illinois, in exploring pension divestment options.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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