Friday, September 19, 2008

CalPERS, Maryland Sec Lending Programs Respond to Markets

The securities lending programs of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland have taken steps in response to the current financial market turmoil.

Noting that "no other companies whose shares are in the pension fund's public stock portfolio are affected," the $220 billion fund said that it was "temporarily restricting the securities of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, State Street, and Wachovia."

In a press release, Anne Stausboll, Interim CalPERS Chief Investment Officer, said “We want to do our part and help mitigate the current instability of the market and any potential adverse short-selling impact on these important financial institutions. Our Securities Lending Program otherwise will remain the same."

Mansco Perry, Chief Investment Officer for the State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland, announced a decision to remove all financial stocks from availability to the System's securities lending program.

"We don’t want our long-term holdings to be borrowed by short sellers and used to aggressively push down stock prices and destabilize our financial system," said Nancy K. Kopp, State Treasurer and Chair of the System’s board.

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