Daily Management Review

Russia Will Temporarily Disallow Foreign Investors To Sell Assets And In The Country


Russia Will Temporarily Disallow Foreign Investors To Sell Assets And In The Country
As a response to growing Western sanctions, Russia would temporarily prohibit foreign investors from selling Russian assets in order to guarantee that they make informed decisions rather than ones influenced by political pressure, the prime minister said on Tuesday.
A government order confirmed an earlier report by Reuters that Russia's massive national wealth fund will be spurred into action, spending up to 1 trillion roubles ($10.3 billion) to acquire shares in Russian enterprises.
"In the current sanction situation foreign entrepreneurs are forced to be guided, not by economic factors, but to make decisions under political pressure," Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told a governmental meeting.
"In order to give business a chance to make a considered decision, a presidential order was prepared to impose temporary curbs on exit from Russian assets," he said, without giving details.
Since Moscow invaded Ukraine last Thursday, the Russian government has been rushing to respond to increasingly punitive sanctions imposed by Western nations.
The measures include restrictions on the central bank's capacity to employ gold and foreign exchange reserves, as well as the removal of large Russian banks from the international financial system.
The rouble hit all-time lows on Monday, prompting the central bank to raise its benchmark interest rate to 20 per cent and encourage exporting enterprises to sell FX to stabilise the currency.
BP and Shell, shareholders in Russia's leading oil giant Rosneft and the Sakhalin 2 LNG project, respectively, have stated they will discontinue investing in Russia after decades of operation.
Russia was "open to dialogue with constructively-minded investors" Mishustin said and that: "We expect that whose who invested into our country will be able to work here further on."
Connecticut Treasurer Shawn Wooden announced on Tuesday that he would direct the state's pension funds to sell Russian assets for moral reasons and to reduce investment risk in the state's $47 billion retirement funds.
Russia describes its actions in Ukraine as a "special operation" aimed at destroying Ukraine's military capabilities and apprehending "dangerous nationalists," rather than occupying territory.
In a warning, the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a trade group representing large banks, said that it is extremely likely that Russia will default on its external debts.
With Moscow's shattered stock market closed for a second day on Tuesday, Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, who has been sanctioned by the European Union, cautioned that even without the temporary suspension, fleeing Russian assets may be tough.
"I don't think we would be able to divest assets in Russia right now because there are no buyers for the time being," Fridman told reporters in London.