The Russian invasion of Ukraine is clearly a humanitarian tragedy.

It will also have widespread economic consequences.

We have been working with our advisers to try to make an early assessment of the likely impacts on the Fund.

Initial conclusions are:

  • Global equity markets have already fallen, and while they have partially recovered, they remain volatile.
  • From a macro-economic perspective, higher medium term European, oil, gas and food prices alongside financial market disruption and sanctions on Russia are likely to lead to an increase in already elevated inflationary pressures, which will in turn weaken the outlook for economic growth. 
  • A period of prolonged instability, with impacts for Europe in particular, is now clearly a potential outcome. 
  • The situation is uncertain, and changing rapidly, but this could negatively affect asset prices right across SPF portfolios. 

Stock specific exposure

SPF owns shares in 2 Russian companies within one of its global equity portfolios.  These holdings have reduced over recent weeks as a result of sales activity and market movements and as at close on 28th February, the combined value of these two positions was less than £1m.

Underlying exposure

The Fund invests globally across a range of asset classes and investment markets.  This diversification spreads risk, but it also creates a complex network of commercial and economic exposures which will all be affected by these events to a greater or lesser extent.  SPF is liaising with its investment managers as they assess the impact of macroeconomic pressures as well as potential second order ramifications and outcomes on companies and assets within the Fund's portfolios.

Pensions

None of this will have any impact on our ability to pay pensions. It might reduce investment returns for a period, but  SPF is a long-term investor and remains very well funded (126.5% at 31st December 2021).