CalSTRS “Disappointed” By Volkswagen Debacle


CalSTRS, which holds nearly $40 million in Volkswagen stock, said it is “disappointed” by the company’s admission last week that it cheated emissions tests – a revelation which sent its stock price plummeting.

CalSTRS and other pension funds that hold shares in the car-maker said they are actively monitoring the situation. But ultimately, the losses will prove to be a drop in the bucket, according to fund spokespeople.

More from Bloomberg:

“Calstrs is clearly disappointed that a company in our portfolio has managed to simultaneously damage both its shareholder value and the environment that we’re pledging to protect,” said Michael Sicilia, a Calstrs spokesman. “As owners we actively monitor our holdings and expect our portfolio companies to govern themselves responsibly.”


The $286 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System said it has about $165 million invested in Volkswagen. The fund, the biggest in the U.S., is “examining the situation and continue to monitor,” said spokesman Joe DeAnda.

New York state’s pension fund — which was worth $184.5 billion as of March 31 — has 22,927 ordinary shares of Volkswagen valued at about $5 million, according to Matt Sweeney, a spokesman for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the fund’s sole trustee. It has another 159,979 shares of Volkswagen’s non-voting preferred shares worth $33.3 million, Sweeney said by e-mail.

The $50 billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation held 15,009 shares of Volkswagen stock as of June 30, valued at $3.47 million. “It doesn’t exactly move the needle, does it?” said Laura Achee, the fund’s director of communications.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas declined to comment on its holdings but said that any investment in Volkswagen would be a drop in the bucket of its $132 billion assets, according to communications director Howard Goldman. At the $26 billion Employees Retirement System of Texas, which provides retirement benefits for state employees, retirees and their dependents, VW holdings are similarly negligible.

“We have some in equities and in fixed income, but very small,” said spokeswoman Mary Jane Wardlow in an e-mail.

Volkswagen has lost $30.3 billion of its market value since September 18.


Photo by Long Road Photography (formerly Aff) via Flickr CC License

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