See How Much the Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Has Invested in Russia

Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of NBIM

Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of NBIM

Norway’s massive sovereign wealth fund is reviewing its portfolio allocation and risk profile on Russia. NBIM Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad told reporters in Oslo that in regard to Russian investments, “We are at any given time also considering conditions that have dimensions of geopolitics and geopolitical risk.”

Given the threat of sanctions from the West, institutional investors are growing cautious about their Russian investments. For example, in July 2013, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) acquired a stake in Moscow’s 2.2 million-sqft Metropolis Shopping and Entertainment Mall through the Hines CalPERS Russia Long Term Hold Fund. The price was reported to be in the US$ 1 billion range.

The nearly US$ 850 billion sovereign wealth fund as of December 31, 2013 has a US$ 7.9 billion exposure to Russia in fixed income and equity investments. In essence, a 0.9% direct exposure to Russian assets. Norway’s GPFG has essentially zero exposure to Ukrainian assets.


Exposure to VTB Bank

During that time period, the sovereign fund owned a 4.6% equity interest in VTB Bank OJSC. VTB Bank is led by Andrey Kostin, a key member of Putin’s United Russia party. Kostin has been an advocate for turning VTB into an international bank, setting up offices in Singapore, Dubai, London and Hong Kong. The investment banking subsidiary, VTB Capital, is seeking to cutting its staff in London and New York following the rapid succession of events unfolding in the Ukraine.

In addition, Norway’s GPFG has equity exposure to state-owned Sberbank of Russia – the largest lender in Russia. Ukraine’s acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnitskyi has accused Sberbank of “financing terrorism.” Sberbank denied the accusations.

NBIM’s Fixed Income Holdings in Russia

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