NEW YORK/LONDON – Russia’s access to global capital markets was likely to be limited by further international sanctions after the country’s forces invaded Ukraine on Thursday, putting funds with exposure to Russian bonds under investor focus.
Before the attack, U.S. President Joe Biden had broadened restrictions on trading of Russian government debt in a bid to punish Moscow for ratcheting up its conflict with Ukraine, while also signalling further sanctions were possible.
Data from industry tracker Morningstar Direct shows large money managers such as BlackRock, PIMCO and Invesco all had exposure to Russian bonds as of the end of last year, while others were increasing positions even as rumblings of war rose.
Most U.S. funds contacted by Reuters either declined to comment or did not immediately respond to questions about their current exposures or on their plans for Russian assets.
FUNDS WITH BIGGEST ‘LONG’ POSITIONS IN RUSSIAN DEBT
* Carmignac Portfolio EM Debt fund had the world’s longest Russia debt position in January at over 43%, Morningstar data shows, an increase from 10% in August.
* Vontobel’s Eastern European Bond AM was 40% long.
* The Carmignac Portfolio Emerging Patrimoine was 21% long.
* Austrian Kepler Osteuropa Plus Rentenfonds was 19.4% long.
* Gunds run by 1167 Capital were 18.5% and 16.7% long.
GRAPHIC: Funds with largest long Russia sovereign debt positions at end of Jan – https://graphics.reuters.com/RUSSIA-BONDS/lbpgnzggjvq/chart.png
TOP U.S. DOMICILED FUNDS
These are some of the U.S domiciled open-end funds and ETFs with the largest exposure to Russian bonds as a percentage of the fund’s portfolio, Morningstar data show.
* The Gavekal Asia Pacific Government Bond ETF, a U.S. incorporated exchange-traded fund, had an 11.45% exposure.
* Payden Emerging Markets Local Bond fund had a 9.33% exposure to Russian bonds.
* Western Asset Macro Opportunities Fund had an 8.37% exposure to Russian bonds.
* Goldman Sachs Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund Institutional Class had 7.8% exposed to Russian bonds.
* PIMCO’s Emerging Markets Local Currency and Bond Fund had a 7.79% exposure to Russian bonds.
* TCW Emerging Markets Local Currency Fund had a 6.52% exposure.
(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia in New York and Marc Jones in London; Editing by Alexander Smith)