Industry Updates

SPDJI and Morningstar follow MSCI in removing Russian securities

Russian securities will be removed “at a price of zero”

Theo Andrew

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S&P Dow Jones Indices (SPDJI) and Morningstar have become the latest major index providers to pull Russian securities from their emerging market indices.

Following a consultation with market participants, both index providers announced on 4 March they would take the step of removing Russian stocks from indices amid the impact of economic sanctions on the Russian market.

It follows a similar move by the world’s largest index provider MSCI last week after its head of research Dimitris Melas said the equity market in Russia is “uninvestable”.

FTSE Russell shortly followed announcing Russia would be deleted across all its indices.

SPDJI said it will remove Russia from its indices at the close of trading on 9 March “at a price of zero” but will continue to calculate several standalone Russian indices.

Morningstar will also remove them at a price of zero after an index rebalance on 18 March and will also exclude State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank from the Morningstar Fixed Income indices.

“Decisions regarding the removal of Russian sovereign bonds from indexes which do not require investment grade quality, as well as decisions regarding any additional removals and the price at removal of sanctioned and non-sanctioned Russian issuers are still under review,” it said.

Index providers have been rushing to understand the wall of sanctions imposed on Russia since last week, with providers including Qontigo, MVIS, ICE and Weiner Boerse having either frozen their Russia benchmarks or deleted Russian securities from their indices.

Furthermore, JP Morgan said it was likely to remove Russian issuance from two emerging market ESG indices.

Last Friday, European exchanges halted trading on several Russian ETFs in a bid to protect investors' assets after many of the ETFs had already suspended creations in the primary market.

The fighting in Ukraine has intensified as the Russian invasion entered its second week with further economic sanctions on Russia expected to be imposed.

Brent Crude oil – the global oil benchmark – soared to above $139 a barrel on 7 March after the US said it was considering a ban on Russian supplies in step with other countries.

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