The decision is based on Russia's human rights violations, the imposition of sanctions from the international community and the Norwegian government's decision that Norges Bank Investment Management will divest from Russia. The following investments will be excluded, effective immediately:
1. Russian government bonds
2. Russian state-controlled enterprises
3. Companies contributing directly or indirectly to the invasion of Ukraine
4. Companies subject to EU and UN sanctions as a result of the conflict
5. All Russian companies excluded by the Norwegian Oil Fund
SKAGEN's Russian exposure is limited to equity investments in two funds, SKAGEN Kon-Tiki and SKAGEN Vekst. At the end of February, SKAGEN Kon-Tiki's exposure was 1.2% of NAV invested across five holdings and SKAGEN Vekst's was 0,9% of NAV invested across three positions.
SKAGEN has no exposure to Russian government bonds in its funds.
SKAGEN intends to sell all Russian stocks as soon as possible. Current trading restrictions and other market disruptions that may limit or impede their disposal mean that holdings will be frozen to safeguard the best interests of unitholders.
Tim Warrington, CEO of SKAGEN, commented:
"Above all else this is a human tragedy and the people of Ukraine have our full sympathy. This decision has not been taken lightly but we believe it is important to take a strong stand against Russia, while at the same time continuing to act in the best long-term interests of our clients."
Jan Erik Saugestad, Chairman of SKAGEN and CEO of Storebrand Asset Management, added:
"We are deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine, not least the human suffering. Russia is guilty of violating international law and the right of nation states to self-govern, and we believe that it is our duty as a sustainable asset manager to act."