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Florida’s pension fund’s BP holdings down $67 million

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Florida’s pension fund, the fourth-largest in the nation, has seen the value of its BP investments plunge more than $67 million since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, but the paper loss is still too small to seriously threaten the fund’s $112.4 billion bottom line, managers said today.

The Florida Retirement System’s investment in BP stocks and bonds was worth $169.4 million last week, down $67.1 million since the accident that killed 11 workers and unleashed the largest ecological disaster in the nation’s history.  That’s how much the state would lose if it sold off its BP holdings now, but that’s not likely to happen. Institutional investors are in it for the long-haul, said State Board of Administration spokesman Dennis MacKee.

“We’re looking at 20- to 30-year horizons,” he said.

The fund’s actual loss in BP investments, the result of routine trades triggered mostly by the rise and fall of various stock indexes, is $21.5 million.

BP stock has lost nearly half its value, $80 billion, since the accident. President Barack Obama, in his first Oval Office address to the nation, is expected tonight to announce an agreement by the energy giant to set up a fund worth tens of billions to pay lost-income claims.

Gov. Charlie Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum oversee the State Board of Administration which manages the pension fund, although they don’t call the day-to-day shots.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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