The Common Retirement Fund of New York State is one of the largest public pension funds in the United States and is now reaching out to the giants Pepsico, McDonald’s and others to end or pause business operations in Russia. The appeal has been made amidst the ever increasing tensions due to the invasion of Russia over Ukraine.
Thomas DiNapoli is the trustee of the fund has in a series of letters warned the companies who continue to operate in Russia or invest in Russian assets could face significant, legal, operational, human rights, compliance or reputational risks. DiNapoli in a letter added that bringing an end or pausing the McDonald’s business operations in Russia would lead to a number of investment risks that are related to the Russian market and would also play a vital role in condemning the role of Russia on the International order which is important for a strong and a healthy global economy. It has been estimated by the comptroller’s office that nearly $280 billion funds are in the public equity investments that include the direct holdings and co-mingled funds in the Russian companies.
The stakes of the New York Common Retirement Fund in McDonald’s and Pepsico are valued at nearly $410 million and $501 respectively. There are nearly 847 restaurants of McDonald’s in Russia and 108 locations in Ukraine. The company owns nearly 84percent of the locations in Russia and 100 percent of the locations in Ukraine. The combined system-wide sales of Russia and Ukraine is approximately 2 percent that comes to 9 percent of its revenue and less than 3 percent of its operational income in 2021.
DiNapoli added that these companies like Pepsico and McDonald’s have a large footprint in Russia and need to consider if it is worth continuing with the trade amidst this situation. He added that the unprovoked invasion of Russia in Ukraine and its unpredictable foreign policy is a threat to the global economy.
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