Dutch pension funds invest billions in Russian companies: report

Dutch pension funds have invested at least 2.5 billion euros in Russian companies and government bonds, reports NU.nl based on its own research. The ten largest pension funds in the Netherlands have a large portfolio of shares in Russian companies such as Gazprom, Lukoil and Rosneft, as well as in the banks Sberbank, Credit Bank of Moscow and VTB Bank. All these companies are affected by the European and American sanctions put in place after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The ABP civil servants’ pension fund holds about 1 billion euros of Russian investments, or 0.2% of its total investments. Last year, the fund decided to stop investing in oil and gas, which led it to sell many of its Russian investments. “We still have investments in fossil fuels, but they have already been drastically reduced and are still being reduced,” a spokesperson told NU.nl. “And if the EU imposes sanctions that affect our investments, we will of course follow them.”

PFZW holds 1.2 billion euros of Russian investments, or 0.4% of its total. This includes government bonds worth around 700 million euros. A spokesperson told the newspaper that the fund was monitoring developments in Ukraine. “The PFZW board will consider how to handle this,” a spokesperson said.

Pensionfonds Detailhandel has relatively the most Russian investments at €270 million or more than 0.7% of its total investments. Most of these investments (208 million euros) are in government bonds. The pension fund’s board will decide what to do with the Russian investments on Thursday, a spokesperson said.

PMT’s Russian investments amount to 132 million euros, or 0.13% of its total investments. BpfBouw has 58 million euros (0.07%) and PME 23 million euros (0.04%). PfVervoer did not give exact figures to NU.nl, but a snapshot at the end of 2020 showed the fund had many different investments in Russian stocks and government bonds. A spokesman said there were “no major differences” with the previous situation a year later.

On Monday, left-wing opposition parties called on the Cabinet to tackle Russian financial interests running through Dutch businesses.