Goldman Sachs will be shutting down its operations in Russia, making it the first major Wall Street to quit the country following heavy economic sanctions imposed on Moscow by Western Governments over the Ukraine Crisis.
Goldman has been operating in Russia since 1998, and is said to have worked on some of the country’s most significant financial transactions. Some of those transactions includes a $4 billion initial public offering by VTB Bank and major lending packages for energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft.
A statement by Goldman spokesperson reported by The Post read;
“Goldman Sachs is winding down its business in Russia in compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements.
We are focused on supporting our clients across the globe in managing or closing out pre-existing obligations in the market and ensuring the well-being of our people.”
In our role as market-maker standing between buyers and sellers, we are helping our clients reduce their risk in Russian securities which trade in the secondary market, not seeking to speculate.”
Goldman’s move follows a flood of major multinational corporations announcing plans to exit Russia. Consumer brands, in particular, have faced growing public pressure, including threats of boycotts, to punish Moscow over its military offensive in Ukraine. On Tuesday alone, US food-service and beverage giants McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Starbucks announced that they were suspending operations in Russia.
Goldman’s credit exposure in Russia is $650 million according to a Bloomberg report. Earlier this month, the bank began moving staff based in Moscow to offices in Dubai, the Bloomberg report adds.
On Wednesday, Citigroup said it was reconsidering its presence in the country but has yet to announce it will pull out.
Still, some big banking players are staying put. Deutsche Bank, which has been dinged by regulators for multiple global compliance issues related to bribery and money laundering, said it wasn’t “practical” to cease operations with Russia.
In an interview with CNBC Thursday, the bank’s CFO said it had a duty to take care of Russian clients.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur