Asset manager Nuveen leaves Chinese companies hit by sanctions

LONDON (Reuters) – Nuveen, the $ 1.1 trillion asset management arm of TIAA, has sold its stakes in Chinese companies that will be banned from US investors by the recent sanctions, he told Reuters in an email.

The divestments come as US investors scramble out of sanctioned shares, which Americans ban from proprietary companies believed to have links to the Chinese military.

Nuveen had held positions in many of the blacklisted companies, including China Telecom, SMIC, Xiaomi Corp, CNOOC, China Mobile, and China Unicom Hong Kong, according to Refinitiv data until the end of November last year. Of those, the largest was a 0.12% stake in China Telecom’s Hong Kong listing, the data showed.

TIAA is the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, a leading provider of pension services for people in the education, nonprofit, health care and government sectors.

Other US investors have made similar moves. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, had sold nearly all of its stake in China Telecom, a stock exchange statement last week showed.

About $ 323 billion of Nuveen’s assets under management are invested in equities, its second asset class after fixed income, its website shows.

Big US funds are expected to liquidate more holdings before the rules go into effect in November 2021.

Before leaving office, the Donald Trump administration imposed sanctions on 44 Chinese companies with alleged ties to the Chinese military, a move expected by financial executives that will remain in effect under Joe Biden’s presidency.

Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Karin Strohecker and David Goodman