BISMARCK, N.D. – Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, who chairs the State Investment Board (SIB) on behalf of Gov. Doug Burgum, has called a special meeting of the SIB to discuss Legacy Fund investments in Russia in light of the country’s continuing attacks on Ukraine.
“North Dakota stands with the freedom-loving people of Ukraine in opposition to the ongoing attacks by Russian armed forces and President Putin,” Burgum said. “We must do our part to limit the financial resources at Russia’s disposal to discourage these unprovoked and heinous acts of aggression.”
“North Dakota has received, reviewed and is implementing advice from the U.S. Treasury Department related to investments in Russia,” Sanford said. “The situation is fluid and additional guidance is forthcoming. The State Investment Board will meet Thursday to discuss the evolving situation.”
While the state holds a $500,000 bond originally issued by the Russian Federation, it was purchased from a third party on the secondary market, so the proceeds of the sale went to the third party, not the Russian government. The state also has $914,000 in Legacy Fund dollars invested in Gaz Capital, which is 50% owned by the Russian Federation. The U.S. Treasury has advised U.S. investors to cease all secondary exchange transactions involving Russia effective March 1 for bonds “issued after March 1, 2022.”
According to the state Retirement and Investment Office (RIO), state investments with Russian entity exposure total $8.5 million from the Legacy Fund, $5.1 million from the pension pool and $2.3 million from the insurance pool – a total of $15.9 million, or less than one-tenth of 1% of the $19.3 billion in total assets under management.
The North Dakota Board of University and School Lands (Land Board) also has approximately $28.8 million invested in Russia-based companies, which is equal to less than half of 1% of the board’s total investment assets of more than $6 billion. The Department of Trust Lands and its investment consultant are reviewing the investments and will develop a strategy for the Land Board to consider on how to address the investments.