More than 1,200 multinational companies have curtailed or abandoned business ties with Russia in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to data assembled by the Yale School of Management. Its authoritative list of businesses, updated weekly, plays a key role in the praising and shaming of companies that have, or have not, taken political action in Russia.
Why does this matter? Beyond ethics, recent research shows that financial markets are rewarding companies for leaving Russia while punishing those that remain, with consumers taking a similar stance.
Among the OECD, one of the most prestigious intergovernmental groups – made up of 38 democracies with market-based economies – Turkey, Hungary and Austria have seen the slowest withdrawal of companies from Russia.
Turkey performed the worst, with all five of its businesses in Russia (including Pegasus Airlines) still operating as usual. Next is Hungary, with six of the ten Hungarian companies in Russia taking absolutely no action. In third place is Austria, with 12 of the 23 Austrian businesses in Russia remaining unmoved.
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After Austria, companies from Italy and France have been the next slowest movers among the OECD. OECD-based companies that are avoiding political action may believe they are taking economic advantage of the situation. However, the wrath of markets and consumers remains strong, especially in the West. Inaction is unlikely to pay off.