BlackRock assumed losses of approximately $17 billion in Russian assets following the invasion of Ukraine. The amount was advanced by the world’s largest asset manager to the Financial Times (FT) in a balance to the impact of international sanctions that have been implemented against Vladimir Putin’s regime.
At the end of January, BlackRock clients held $18.2 billion in Russian assets, the company explains. After the invasion, the asset manager suspended all asset purchases and assumed the losses due to large devaluations (since there will have been no sales). An official source tells the FT that the exposure was, on February 28, 0.01% of the global investment portfolio, or about $1 billion.
The company, which manages more than $10 billion, is not the only one of the largest in the world to suffer from the impact of the sanctions. Pimco, for example, held at least $1.5 billion in Russian government debt and $1.1 billion in credit default swaps. Janus Henderson, Ashmore or Western Assets are also exposed to Russian debt.
The American Goldman Sachs announced on Thursday that it would close its operations in Russia, becoming the first major Wall Street bank to announce such a decision following the invasion of Ukraine. “Goldman Sachs is closing its operations in Russia, in accordance with regulatory and licensing requirements,” the bank said in a statement. “We strive to help our customers around the world manage or terminate pre-existing obligations in the market and ensure the well-being of our staff,” he added. In the annual report, the bank said it had credit exposure to Russia of $650 million. Shortly after, JPMorgan Chase confirmed that it was also actively reducing its business in Russia.
At Morgan Stanley, the losses have already triggered layoffs. According to Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, a Morgan Stanley trader will suddenly leave the bank after racking up tens of millions of dollars in losses from market turmoil. Hamza El Hassani, who belonged to the equity division of the New York-based bank, will leave due to bets gone wrong, generating a blow of more than 50 million.