Fund manager Abrdn struggles to offload Rosneft stake
FTSE 100 fund manager Abrdn has reportedly been unable to offload its £5m stake in Russian state-backed oil firm Rosneft, as Western firms scramble to divest from companies with links to the Russian state.
Abrdn, which has around £535bn assets under management, has been looking to offload its stake since immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sky News’ Mark Kleinman first reported.
The reports come after BP announced it would sell off its stake in Rosneft yesterday, which had been valued at about £10.4bn but is likely to be shipped on for far less than that valuation, due to difficulties in finding a buyer.
Abrdn yesterday publicly backed BP’s decision to divest from Rosneft.
Andrew Millington, head of UK equities at the Abrdn, said: “We are strongly supportive of the board’s decision and applaud them for taking swift action following the events of the last week.
“While there may be a significant financial cost to BP in exiting Rosneft it is unquestionably the right thing to do”.
Ministers piled pressure on BP to divest from Rosneft last week due to the key role it plays in fuelling the Russian war effort. The decision from BP came just days after boss Bernard Looney was summoned by Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who raised concerns over BP’s stake in the firm.
Looney also gave up his seat on the Rosneft board with immediate effect yesterday, while the former BP group chief executive Bob Dudley has also stepped down from the board.
Bernard Looney said: “Like so many, I have been deeply shocked and saddened by the situation unfolding in Ukraine and my heart goes out to everyone affected.
“It has caused us to fundamentally rethink bp’s position with Rosneft. I am convinced that the decisions we have taken as a board are not only the right thing to do, but are also in the long-term interests of BP.”