S&P Dow Jones Indices, one of the largest providers of indices for use by exchange traded funds, said today it is consulting with clients regarding the inclusion of Russian securities in S&P indices in the wake of broadening economic sanctions against Russia.
“The U.S. Treasury has announced that it is placing sanctions on select Russian securities and individuals. Members of the European Community are also taking similar actions. While S&P Dow Jones Indices believes that its indices are not directly impacted by these actions, we do recognize that some licensees may be required to divest holdings of sanctioned companies,” said S&P Dow Jones Indices in a statement.
ETFs such as the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX)and the iShares MSCI Russia Capped ETF (NYSEArca: ERUS) sank late in Tuesday’s trading session after the U.S. Treasury Department announced fresh sanctions against VTB Bank OAO, Bank of Moscow and Russian Agricultural Bank. [Russia ETFs Hit by New Sanctions]
S&P said the objective of its client consultation is to gather information to make potential index adjustments in timely fashion and to “ensure that our indices continue to take into account changing market conditions, including in this specific circumstance, the recently announced sanctions and any impact they might have on our licensees and other market participants.” S&P clients have until Aug. 15 to respond.
The index provider sponsors 11 indices that hold only Russian securities, including the S&P Russia Capped BMI Index. That index serves as the benchmark for the SPDR S&P Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RBL). [Russia ETFs Try to Deal With Controversy]
S&P also issuers nearly 80 indices that include a mix of Russian and non-Russian equities. That group includes indices used by the $172 million SPDR S&P BRIC 40 ETF (NYSEArca:BIK) and the $519.5 million SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: EDIV).