May 13, 2020 / 3:05 PM / 20 days ago

Citing coronavirus, U.S. board delays Federal pension fund investments in Chinese stocks

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) - Bending to White House pressure, an independent board charged with overseeing billions in federal retirement dollars announced on Wednesday it would indefinitively delay plans to invest in hotly debated Chinese companies.

In a statement, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment (FRTIB) board cited a “meaningfully different economic environment” due to the coronavirus pandemic and the nomination of new board members to explain the delay.

The FRTIB oversees the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a retirement savings fund for federal employees and members of the military. It made the move days after the Trump administration told it to “halt all steps” tied to shifting its $40 billion international fund to track the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S.A. Investable Market Index, which includes stocks of Chinese firms under scrutiny in Washington. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper)

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