The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that Canadian pension funds are buying pot stocks as the maturing industry's largest companies emerge as mainstream investment options in the wake of legalization.
The Globe's David Milstead and Mark Rendell write that Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) bought shares of four different cannabis companies in 2018's fourth quarter. At year-end, they were worth roughly $77-million, according to U.S. regulatory filings. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board also took its first disclosed position, ending the year with about $1-million in shares of Aurora Cannabis.
The investments are tiny for Canadian pension funds, which in the aggregate manage hundreds of billions of dollars. Aurora chief executive officer Cam Battley said in a tweet, "(sigh) We've become boring & mainstream. ;)"
The disclosures are limited to the five cannabis companies that list on a U.S. stock exchange: Canopy Growth, Aurora, Aphria, Cronos and Tilray. The filings list only positions held by institutional investors at quarter-end, so they give no insight into when, exactly, the shares were bought and at what price. Pension funds typically do not discuss individual holdings.
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