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Amid rapidly developing events centred on Ukraine, Australian Retirement Trust has sold our holdings in Russia. Here’s why.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Australian Government has imposed economic sanctions on Russia.1
Australian Retirement Trust has instructed investment managers to sell any remaining debt and equity investments and not to make any new investments in either Russia or Belarus, which has now entered the conflict alongside Russia.
Australian Retirement Trust Chief Investment Officer Ian Patrick said while the investment managers had been instructed to adhere to all legal requirements imposed by Australian law and other relevant sanctions regimes, we could not rule out having some minimal exposure or that some of the companies we invest in may have some exposure to assets in these countries.
“However, we certainly expect those companies to manage their businesses in accordance with all relevant sanctions and applicable laws,” Mr Patrick said.
QSuper is part of Australian Retirement Trust following the merger with Sunsuper on 28 February 2022. Australian Retirement Trust investment portfolios are diversified across different asset classes, regions, countries, industries, individual assets and securities. The direct exposure to investments in Russia has been minimal.
However, we do seek to respond to these events. We also seek to capitalise on opportunities that may emerge during times of crisis.
So, as well as seeking to eliminate any remaining share and bond exposures in the affected countries, we have also increased our exposure to world share markets and reduced our exposure to bonds after share prices declined and bond prices rose sharply.
Your diversified investment options had no exposure to shares or bonds in Russia and very limited exposure to the surrounding region.
For example, the QSuper Balanced option’s shares allocation (for Accumulation and Income accounts) invests around 0.3% of its portfolio in eastern European markets, such as Poland and Hungary and a further 0.4% in the nearby markets of Finland and Norway.
We have instructed our investment managers not to make any new investments in Russia or Belarus.
We also offer members the choice to invest in Self Invest, where you can take full control of where your super is invested.
Self Invest allows you to invest in a range of shares listed on the S&P/ASX 300 index and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which may invest in emerging markets such as Russia.
However, in Self Invest, all investment decisions, including those pertaining to responsible or ethical choices, are up to you.
We aim to keep you as informed as possible, while acknowledging this is a rapidly evolving environment.
For most members, the answer to what should you do with your super now may be to do nothing. While this is a challenging period, it may also provide opportunities for our investment managers to acquire high-quality assets at attractive prices.
Deciding what is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances and you may want to seek personal financial advice to get the most from your superannuation. You can find out more about financial advice options at qsuper.qld.gov.au/advice
Please call 1300 360 750 if you want to find out more.
1. Media Release, 28 February 2022, Prime Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence, Economic measures against Russia and lethal military equipment for Ukraine, at www.foreignminister.gov.au
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