Magna among Canadian companies slowing down Russian operations following invasion of Ukraine

Magna International Inc. joins other Canadian companies in standing up to aggression in Ukraine by scaling back its Russian operations.

“Like most members of the international community, we remain deeply concerned about the very unfortunate situation in Ukraine,” company spokeswoman Tracy Fuerst said in an email Thursday.

The Ontario-based auto parts maker has six plants in Russia and about 2,500 employees.

Although it does not have facilities in Ukraine, Magna says thousands of Ukrainians work in its global operations, as well as Russians it says share the same values ​​of “human rights, diversity and inclusion”.

Magna also says it is making a significant donation to the UN refugee agency and will match employee contributions.

The action comes a day after Kinross Gold Corp. announced that it was suspending all activities at its Udinsk development project in the Russian Far East and was in the process of suspending operations at its Kupol mine.

Other actions of Canadian companies

Two other Canadian companies have also taken action in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Purpose Investments Inc. said on Thursday it had divested all direct holdings of Russian companies and pledged to cease all new investment as long as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine persists.

“Like so many Canadians, we have an undeniable need to do all we can to support those who are suffering,” Som Seif, CEO and founder of the Toronto-based company, said in a press release.

“We took a stand many years ago to integrate [environmental, social and governance] factors across all of our investment portfolios, and believe there is no better test for a company’s ESG principles than this. We simply don’t think it’s appropriate for our clients’ capital to support Russian companies or companies that are engaged in direct business in Russia.”

Purpose also called on the investment industry to support the divestment of Russian assets from their portfolios.

He said asset managers and pension funds representing more than $200 billion in assets took that promise.

“By rallying the asset management and pension industries, we can spread the message widely that we cannot and will not support tyranny and the suffering it causes,” Seif said.

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) also said it took steps last week to divest itself of all Russian investments.

“All residual positions will be reduced to zero and PSP Investments is committed to exiting this market as soon as market conditions permit,” he said Thursday.

The Montreal-based PSP said it had no material exposure to Russian investments and held no direct private investments in Russia. Its exposure is mainly through passive index replication activities and external investment management activities.

PSP is one of Canada’s largest retirement investment managers with $204.5 billion in net assets under management as of March 31, 2021.