The U.S. government has reportedly warned asset managers that it's planning further sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine.
Officials from the Treasury Department and the National Security Council met with mutual fund and hedge fund managers in Washington last week and warned them to account for the risk of more sanctions on Russia, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing a source who attended the meeting. The meeting preceded the talks with Russia in Geneva that concluded Thursday.
“A lot of firms on the buy side have cut their exposure to Russia,” Jack Deino, the head of emerging-market debt at Atlanta-based Invesco Ltd., said, according to Bloomberg.
The Russian ruble has fallen 7.3 percent against the dollar in 2014, according to Bloomberg estimates, though it gained slightly as the meeting in Geneva concluded and President Vladimir Putin reiterated that he would not use Russian armed forces in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been asking fund managers about their investments in Russian securities, according to Bloomberg. A large U.S. mutual-fund company has reportedly been working to sell Russian debt and said that it was likely to return to the Russian market soon, as the risk in the country has increased significantly.
“This is a real wake-up call that there are in the former Soviet Union still a lot of moving parts and more risk than meets the eye,” said Deino, according to Bloomberg. “This is going to result in a decisive increase in the cost of doing business in Russia, in the risk premium, and that’s not going to go away for years.”
“True, we did enhance our forces there (Ukraine); however – this is something I would like everyone to hear and know – we did not exceed the personnel limit of our armed forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000, because there was no need to do so,” Putin said in Moscow Thursday, addressing the State Duma deputies, Federation Council members, heads of Russian regions and civil society representatives in the Kremlin.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Geneva, “If we’re not able to see progress on the immediate efforts, to be able to implement the principles of this agreement this weekend, then we will have no choice but to impose further costs on Russia.”