Russia now 'utterly uninvestable' - Schroders CEO says

·1 min read
A man walks past the logo of investment management company Schroders in Zurich

By Lawrence White

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian stocks and bonds are now "in the realms of utterly uninvestable," the chief executive of Schroders Peter Harrison told Reuters on Thursday, as Western sanctions squeeze Russia's economy after its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's Ukraine invasion has roiled markets worldwide, sending oil prices rocketing, boosting commodity stocks and triggering a crash in the Russian rouble and share markets as sanctions bite.

The invasion will "fundamentally change the nature of Europe for a very long time to come," Harrison said, adding that the British money manger's combined holdings of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus-exposed securities amount to less than 0.1% of Schroders' total assets.

Schroders in common with other asset managers has pending sell orders on Russian stocks, Harrison said, with investors currently unable to complete such sales because the Moscow exchange is suspended.

Harrison said the situation for foreign investors is likely to deteriorate further in the coming days.

"My anticipation would be that sanctions get stronger, and the cumulative impact of running down reserves will be felt ever more acutely, so things that are seemingly difficult now will feel impossible in a week's time," he said, referring to Russia's currency reserves.

Harrison's remarks came as Schroders separately reported a 19% jump in annual profit before tax and exceptional items on Thursday, helped by stronger performance fees and growing client demand at its mutual funds division.

(This story corrects profit figure in last paragraph).

(Reporting By Lawrence White; editing by John O'Donnell and Jane Merriman)