According to a Friday statement, more than $3million was lost by the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement system in the sale of its direct investment in a Russian Bank the day before the invasion of Ukraine .
According to the statement, $15.6 million had been invested by the retirement system in Russia's Sberbank since March 2017. It was then sold for $12.4 million on February 23, 2017.
Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, fell 95 percent after it announced that it would be withdrawing from the European market. This announcement was made as the U.S. and its allies increased sanctions on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
After social media reports revealed that the retirement system was the second-largest shareholder of Sberbank, and that its investment in Sberbank had fallen to less than $1million, the retirement system released its statement.
These reports were deemed "completely false" by the retirement system.
According to the Teachers' Retirement Systems (TRS), "From March 2017 through the final sale on February 23, 2022 TRS invested $15.6 Million with $12.4 Million returned for a loss $3.2 million."
According to the pension system, its holding was in an "over-the-counter, American exchange portion of Sberbank known by an American depositary receipt" and was a small part of the overall "Sberbank Capital Structure."
The statement stated that "TRS's remaining exposure in Russia to holdings is proportionately negligible within a portfolio of approximately $26 billion."
In a statement Thursday, Allison Ball, Kentucky State Treasurer, stated that she knew that the board of trustees for the Teachers' Retirement system board had no direct Russian holdings but that it has a portfolio that includes minor Russian investments. Both the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KYERS) and County Employees Retirement System (CERS) have Russian investments.
Ball stated that she strongly encourages the divestment of all Russian holdings.
She stated that any individual holdings in pension funds should be disposed of as quickly as possible.
According to The Associated Press, officials in other states such as Washington, Connecticut, Indiana and New Jersey have ordered state money to be reviewed to see if any state money goes to Russian companies or investments that support the Russian government.
In Connecticut, state Treasurer Shawn Wooden said this week that more than $218 million worth of state pension fund investments will be divested from Russian-owned assets in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine,