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British asset manager abrdn has been scrapping its Russia and Belarus position and has only limited exposure to Russian assets, Reuters reported citing Abrdn CEO Stephen Bird.

abrdn, which largely invests in the emerging markets, has approximately $2.68bn (£2bn) of client money invested in Russia and Belarus, Bird revealed in a media call.

This is said to be less than half a percent of £542bn assets managed by the firm.

abrdn said in a statement: “abrdn has concluded that we will not be investing in Russia or Belarus for the foreseeable future, on ESG grounds. We have already taken action to reduce our exposure to these regions in a disciplined manner, protecting our clients’ interests.”

The firm also said it has not yet suspended any funds on account of liquidity issues stemming from Ukraine invasion and sanctions.

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Meanwhile, abrdn reported a 47% jump in 2021 operating profit to £323m, boosted by strong market performance.

The firm’s pre-tax profit climbed 33% to £1.1bn while assets under management and administration rose 1% to £542bn. 

Bird said that 2021 was the group’s ‘reset year’.

Besides abrdn, hedge fund firm Man Group also confirmed limited exposures to Russian assets.

Man Group chief financial officer Antoine Forterr said that the firm’s exposure to Russia and Ukraine was ‘negligible’. 

He also added that the firm has been reducing its investment in the past weeks.

Earlier, German lenders Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank informed clients that their direct financial exposure to Russia was ‘well contained’ and ‘manageable’.

Last week, Swiss investment bank UBS triggered margin calls on certain wealth management clients who use Russian bonds as collateral in a bid to limit its exposure to Russian assets.