U.S. Warns Money Managers of More Russia Sanctions

Meeting with Treasury Department left fund managers wondering whether sanctions are coming or whether the government is trying to trigger asset sales.

The Obama administration told asset managers last week that it was planning additional sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

Officials from the Treasury Department and the National Security Council met in Washington with mutual-fund and hedge-fund managers, according to a person who attended. Their comments sent a message that more sanctions are on the way and that investors, if they were concerned about the impact, should manage that risk, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions weren’t public.

“The biggest weapon in terms of sanctions would be similar sanctions to what we did in Iran and basically try to exclude Russia from international financial markets,” said William Pomeranz, deputy director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. “The Russians fear that, and that is what the Russians want to avoid.”

The meeting in Washington last week included several mutual-fund companies with large bond units, according to the person. Separately, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been asking U.S. asset managers about their investments in Russian securities, said the person.

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