Governor calls for NM to pull Russian investments - Albuquerque Journal

Governor calls for NM to pull Russian investments

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is asking the State Investment Council to jettison anything in its portfolio that might benefit the Russian government or its supporters following the invasion of Ukraine.

New Mexico has about $7.9 million invested in stocks and bonds involving companies that originated in Russia, or a fraction of 1% of the $35 billion in assets overseen by the council.

“The State of New Mexico has substantial investments that may be directly or indirectly aiding the Russian invasion,” Lujan Grisham said in a letter to the council. “This is unacceptable. Not one penny should go toward furthering Putin’s brutality.”

She urged the State Investment Council “to take all lawful steps necessary to divest from those investments.”

The council’s next meeting is scheduled March 22, and Lujan Grisham herself is the chairwoman.

Charles Wollman, a spokesman for the SIC, said he expects Russian investments to be discussed at the next council meeting. The $7.9 million in Russian assets, he said, amount to about 0.025% – far less than 1% – of the state’s broader investments.

Russian markets are now closed, Wollman said Friday, preventing the trading of any securities affected by the closure.

Others states are also moving to pull their investments in Russian assets following the attack on Ukraine.

The State Investment Council oversees about $35 billion in investments, including four permanent funds, which together are considered the state’s sovereign wealth fund.

The largest of the funds – the land grant permanent fund, supported by oil and gas revenue – is a key funding source for public education in New Mexico.

The state’s sovereign wealth fund is the third-largest in the nation and one of the 30 largest in the world.

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