Jupiter closes emerging European fund with exposure to Russia

LONDON (Reuters) – British asset manager Jupiter has decided to close its Emerging European Opportunities Fund, a company spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday, as the fund management industry grapples with the effects of training for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The fund was suspended in early March along with a number of other funds with exposure to Russian securities. A total of $6 billion in assets under management has been frozen in Russian or emerging market funds with exposure to Russia, according to Morningstar data.

Asset managers said Russia’s sanctions, countermeasures and ethical considerations have made Russia uninvestable and many fund companies have reduced Russian assets to zero.

The fund suspensions shortly after the invasion, which Russia calls a “special military operation”, were intended to prevent a disorderly rush to exit as some investors were forced to sell at rock bottom prices.

The suspensions meant existing investors couldn’t withdraw their money and new investors couldn’t invest in it, but Jupiter is one of the first managers to announce plans to shut down its suspended fund.

“We have made the decision to close this fund, subject to FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) approval,” the Jupiter spokesperson said.

The Jupiter fund had 59 million euros ($62.11 million) in assets under management, according to Morningstar.

There have been a number of high-profile fund closures for various reasons over the past few years.

British veteran fund manager Neil Woodford’s flagship fund closed in October 2019 after months of suspension.

UK commercial property funds also froze after Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 and again after COVID-19 shutdowns in March 2020. Some never reopened.

($1 = 0.9499 euros)

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by David Goodman)

Mary I. Bruner