One man’s toxic waste is another man’s golden goose. A new round of economic sanctions imposed on Russia last month by the U.S. is creating havoc in investment circles. A recent article by Ben Aris at Russia Insider describes Russian debt assets as ‘toxic waste again.’
That doesn’t mean these Russian debt assets actually are bad investments, just that those who currently hold them have to get rid of them because the rules have changed.
And they are no longer legally allowed to own them.
Because of that what were one minute the darling of the investment world instantly turned into garbage, selling if anyone can find a buyer at discounts even Crazy Eddie would blanche at.
All the previous sanctions imposed on Russian companies had only affected new securities – listings of new shares or bonds. Existing securities were unaffected.
Not now. The Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN List) released on April 6 not only sanctions those listed, it bans any investor with US exposure (European banks with US branches count) from doing any business with the sanctioned names. Investors were supposed sell all their stocks, bonds and debt within 30 days – i.e. before May 7.
This has sent the market for Russian securities into the floor.
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