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12:03, 19 March 2018 Monday
12:38, 31 May 2014 Saturday

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Russia sanctions leave investors divided
Russia sanctions leave investors divided

While some investors have been quick to pull-out of Russia, others are increasing their shares.

World Bulletin / News Desk

As the Ukraine crisis continues to spiral out of control, the West has been implementing economic sanctions on Russia, which is accused of backing pro-Russian militants in the east of the country.

However, so far these sanctions have had limited consquences on Moscow, which has demonstrated its non-reliance on economic ties with Europe by forming the Eurasian Economic Space with Kazakhstan and strengthening ties with China in a gas deal last week.

Nonetheless, the economic consequences of these sanctions not only on Russia, but also investors, remain a question mark left to be answered.

"The endgame is still not clear and the economy is still under some pressure, still slowing," Win Thin, an advisor to investors at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, told Foreign Policy Magazine. "There's still too much baggage right now for people to jump back in."

London-based Debevoise & Plimpton lawyer Matthew Getz also told Foreign Policy Magazine that wary clients are now writing clauses in their loan agreements with Russian firms, allowing them to pull-out of the deal if the company is sanctioned.

Some have already started leaving Russia. ZeeRabbit, a computer software company, relocated from Moscow to Berlin after Russia annexed Crimea. Owner Yoanna Gouchtchina told USA Today, "Right now it feels like just the beginning of the end of those years where we were building the Russian economy."

On the other hand, T. Rowe Price portfolio manager Ulle Adamson, who runs the firm's Emerging Europe Fund, is buying more shares in Russian companies that are usually strong, taking advantage of low prices.

"The crisis will likely have a negative impact on Russia's economy but increasingly attractive valuations provide a good buying opportunity," she said.

So far in 2014, Russia has lost a total of $59.7 billion of investments, according to Bloomberg, causing the ruble to fall 5.3 percent against the dollar. However, the Russian currency rebounded 2.8 percent in May.

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