Foreign companies in Russia, some of whom have been in the country for decades, are divesting or suspending operations en masse. This ‘Great Business Retreat’, as it is being called, comes in response to crippling Western sanctions on Russia for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The vast majority of these businesses have suspended sales or operations in/with Russia, from household names such as IKEA to more obscure organisations like the International Cat Federation (which has banned Russian felines from international competitions).
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, a few companies have decided to entirely divest from all or certain assets in Russia, such as BP’s announcement of intent to sell its 19% stake in Russian state-owned energy behemoth Rosneft. In any case, it is important to note that the vast majority of the companies taking action in Ukraine (more than 330) are ‘Western’ businesses. A full list of names can be found below, as compiled (in more detail) by Yale School of Management – last dated 10 March.
The power of this Great Business Retreat from Russia has historical parallels. Following US sanctions on South Africa in the 1980s (due to the apartheid), more than 200 Western companies cut all ties with the country, resulting in a loss in excess of $1bn in direct investment (from the US alone). These actions put the South African economy under extreme pressure, leading in part to the dissolution of the apartheid regime.
How Vladimir Putin will react to similar punitive measures and corporate boycotts is less clear. The Kremlin has already made several radical attempts to stem the bleeding.
More coverage of the Ukraine invasion from Investment Monitor:
- ‘Who’s going to travel here or invest now?’: The impact of the Ukraine crisis
- Taiwan’s semiconductor ban could spell catastrophe for Russia
- Which countries are most exposed to interruption in Ukraine food exports?
- What impact will the Russia-Ukraine conflict have on the tourism industry?
- Will the Ukraine invasion impact the FDI attractiveness of CEE countries?
- The impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on trade
- From Soviet steel to modern missiles: The Indian-Russian alliance explained
- Russia moves to nationalise assets of departing Western companies
- What impact will the Ukraine invasion have on wheat prices?
- Will the West’s sanctions against Russia work?
- From hamburgers to helmets: How foreign companies in Ukraine are supporting the war effort
- Tax havens blur who Russia’s allies are when it comes to investment
- Germany’s stance on Ukraine-Russia dispute isn’t just about gas
- Why central bank sanctions should have Putin and Russia worried
- Ukraine: an FDI snapshot
- The impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on real assets
- Which multinational companies are most exposed to the Ukraine-Russia conflict?
- Institutional investors respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine