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CalPERS loses big on BP stock

June 22, 2010 |  5:11 pm

After dropping a quarter of the value of its $200-billion portfolio during the recession of 2008 and 2009, the country's largest public pension fund is posting more big paper losses because of the massive 2-month-old BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Since April 20, the 58 million BP shares owned by the California Public Employees' Retirement System have plunged in value by $285 million, dropping from $586 million to $301 million, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News.

BP-related losses for all U.S. pension funds have totaled $1.4 billion as the value of BP stock tumbled 47%, Bloomberg data show.

The oil giant's shares fell again on Tuesday, losing 65 cents, or 2.1%, to $29.68. The stock hit a 13-year low of $29.20 on June 9.

CalPERS, which invests broadly in nearly all major publicly traded stocks in the U.S. and in foreign markets, "intends to engage BP on corporate governance issues," said Pat Macht, the pension fund's director of external affairs.

"BP is on our radar screen," she said. "With our long-term investment horizon and our well-diversified portfolio, we are managing this going forward."

-- Marc Lifsher