New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall today said he will instruct the $74 billion New York State & Local Retirement Systems' active equity managers to purchase no additional tobacco stocks.
He cited concerns about the stocks' volatility as the reason. Mr. McCall is sole trustee of the retirement system. The retirement system has about $160 million of tobacco company stocks invested in actively managed portfolios, according to Mr. McCall.
``While our advisers tell us that tobacco stocks' current valuations are already discounted for litigation risk, the uncertainty makes these stocks more volatile,'' he said. ``As a long-term investor, I believe it is appropriate now to begin to limit the fund's exposure to that volatility.''