CalPERS Drops Blacklisted Foreign Equities

March 11, 2003 ( - The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) has completed the sale of stocks in three emerging markets.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand were excluded from CalPERS’ investment universe in connection with the board of director’s decision to ban equity investments in 12 countries from Colombia to China. The decision was based on a numerical scoring by an outside consultant that determined the 12 countries should be avoided (See New Emerging Market Standard Emerges at CalPERS), according to a Dow Jones report.

CalPERS, which has $133 billion in assets, had been expected to put Thailand and Malaysia back on its list of green-lighted emerging markets, but voted instead to tighten its standards even further than the staff had recommended. Under the revised standards, investment would be cleared for 14 emerging markets which include:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Mexico
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey

In another twist, the fund, which has a $1.8-billion position in emerging markets, said it would keep the Philippines on its target investment list for now (See Philippines Could be Off CalPERS List Again). Officials said they would do a further review after officials from that nation appealed the staff recommendation that it be dropped.