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Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg‘s representative has resigned from the board of a company related to Origin Energy. Falcon Oil & Gas, the company in question, is part of a joint venture on a gas project in partnership with Origin in the Beetaloo Basin.

Activist investors have called for Origin and other companies, including Rio Tinto, to review their partnerships with Russian oligarchs and make sure that no dividends flow to Vekselberg and others who are sanctioned by the US and UK.

Vekselberg is not subject to Australian sanctions, which were expanded last week following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Last night, Vekselberg’s representative on the board of Falcon Oil & Gas, Maxim Mayorets“agreed to step down as a non-executive director of the company with effect from today’s date”, the company said in an announcement to the London stock exchange, where it is listed.

Falcon owns a little under 20% of a project in the Beetaloo that is being explored for gas, with the remainder belonging to Origin. So far, Origin, which is running the project, has paid all the costs of exploration.

In a statement, Origin said it was “appalled by the Russian aggression and invasion of Ukraine” and had “no direct contact” with Lamesa Holdings, the company through which Vekselberg has invested in Falcon, or any other Falcon shareholders.

“Nor do these investors have any influence over activities in the Beetaloo Basin,” Origin said.

“Nevertheless, given the Russian invasion, Origin is concerned about Lamesa Holdings’ investment in Falcon. Origin has expressed its concerns directly to Falcon, and acknowledges the company’s responsiveness, noting the announcement that Russian businessman Maxim Mayorets has agreed to step down from the Falcon board effective immediately.”

We also have some overnight updates on what Australian super funds – who hold your retirement savings – are doing about their investments in Russian companies amid calls for them to divest.

Retail workers’ fund Rest tells Guardian Australia it “intends to divest any direct portfolio holdings of Russian securities in accordance with our members’ best financial interests and regulatory sanctions”.

“Our equity and bond managers are already not permitted to initiate any new, or add to any existing, Russian positions,” a spokesperson said.

Russian assets make up less than 0.1% of the assets held by retirement savers using the fund’s “Core Strategy” option, while its “Sustainable Growth” option “does not currently have any exposure to Russian holdings”, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, construction industry fund CBUS says it has limited purchases of Russian shares since 2018.

They currently make up about 0.1% and “will continue to be reduced when practical and we are continuing to monitor the situation closely”, a spokesperson said.

IFM Investorsa group through which industry super funds make investments into things such as airports, toll roads and the like, said it had “no direct investors nor investments that are included on relevant global sanctions lists”.

“IFM has no direct exposure to Russia through its infrastructure, debt and private equity portfolios,” it said.

“IFM does have a global listed equities indexing capability, where it manages money indexed to the MSCI All Country Index, which includes very limited exposure to Russia.”

Australia’s biggest super fund, AustralianSuper, has yet to say anything about its investments in Russia.

You can read more about Australian business and its scramble to dive and distance from Russia here:

Related: Origin Energy and Rio Tinto urged to review joint ventures with Russian oligarchs

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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