McDonald’s, Pepsi, others should consider pausing Russia operations -NY pension fund

The logo for McDonald’s restaurant is seen as McDonald’s Corp. reports fourth quarter earnings, in Arlington, Virginia, US, January 27, 2022. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts

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NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) – Major global brands, including McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N), PepsiCo Inc (PEP.O) and the Estee Lauder Cos Inc (EL.N), should consider pausing their operations in Russia, New York state’s pension fund chief wrote in letters to several companies on Friday.

Other companies that received the letter were Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O), Fortinet Inc, Kimberly-Clark Corp (KMB.N), Bunge Ltd (BG.N), Coty Inc (COTY.N), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc (ALNY) .O) and Trimble Inc (TRMB.O).

None of the companies immediately replied to a request for comment.

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Political pressure is building for companies to halt business in Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine, and sanctions are making some operations difficult. Some big companies have already said they will stop, including sneaker maker Nike and home furnishings firm IKEA (IKEA.UL). read more

The letters from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli urged companies to review their businesses in Russia because they face “significant and growing legal, compliance, operational, human rights and personnel, and reputational risks,” wrote DiNapoli, who oversees the state’s roughly $ 280 billion pension fund, which owns shares of the companies.

Pausing or ending operations in Russia “would address various investment risks associated with the Russian market and play an important role in condemning Russia’s role in fundamentally undermining the international order that is vital to a strong and healthy global economy,” the letter said.

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Reporting by Hilary Russ; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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