Feb 23 (Reuters) - International companies with exposure to
Russia are closely following Western sanctions on the country
after an escalation in the Ukraine crisis.
Below are comments from some Japanese and European companies
on the situation:
HITACHI LTD, CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT & POWER GRID BUSINESSES
The conglomerate has five engineering bases in Ukraine of
GlobalLogic, which it acquired last year, and roughly 7,200
staff working in places including Kyiv and northeastern Kharkiv.
Hitachi said it does not expect a significant
impact on those businesses and operations are continuing.
JAPAN TOBACCO, FIVE FACTORIES IN RUSSIA
Japan's former tobacco monopoly relies on the Commonwealth
of Independent States, including Russia and Belarus, for about a
fifth of its profits.
Japan Tobacco employs about 4,500 people in its
offices and factories in Russia, and its tax payments in 2020
accounted for 1.4% of the Russian Federation state budget, the
company said on its website.
It has one factory in Kremenchuck, central Ukraine, where it
has been expanding production. A spokesperson for the company
said it was keeping an eye on developments.
MARUBENI CORP, TRADER WITH VARIOUS BUSINESS INTERESTS
The Japanese trading house has offices in the
Ukraine capital Kyiv and in Dnipro in the east that trade in
chemicals and fertilizers and distribute Hitachi Construction
Machinery mining equipment.
Marubeni's three Japanese workers in Ukraine have already
left, a spokesperson said. It also has four offices in Russia,
where it sells tires for mining equipment and manages a health
MITSUBISHI CORP, TRADER WITH VARIOUS BUSINESS INTERESTS
It distributes Mitsubishi Motor vehicles through
some 141 dealerships in Russia and has a stake Sakhalin II gas
and oil development project that supplies Japan with liquefied
natural gas (LNG) and trades coal, aluminum, nickel, coal,
methanol, plastics and other material. It also supplies power
plant equipment and other machinery.
A spokesperson for Mitsubishi Corp said its
business interests in both Ukraine and Russia were small and
declined to comment further.
RAKUTEN, OWNER OF MESSAGING APP VIBER USED IN UKRAINE
The e-commerce firm said it is "focused on maintaining
connectivity for Viber users everywhere." The app is used by 97%
of Ukrainian smartphone users and the Japanese firm operates an
office in Odessa with contractors and in Kyiv.
Rakuten said it has told contractors to prioritize
their safety and will "accommodate their situations if they are
prevented from working as usual."
SBI HOLDINGS, OWNS SBI BANK IN RUSSIA
SBI Bank, established almost three decades ago, offers
corporate services and loans to Japanese companies expanding
operations in Russia.
A spokesperson for the financial conglomerate
said it had contingency measures to continue its Russian
business by using euro, yen and dollars payments with European
TOYOTA, AUTOMAKER WITH FACTORY IN SAINT PETERSBURG
The company's operations were unaffected, a spokesperson
said. Toyota's plant in Russia makes Camry and RAV4
vehicles, and it has a sales office in Moscow. It has about
2,600 people, including 26 Japanese nationals, at those
BASF, GERMAN CHEMICALS MAKER WITH 1% SALES FROM RUSSIA
"All employees in Ukraine are requested to work from home
where possible and to avoid business travel. All of our
employees in Russia continue to work as normal," BASF
said in a statement.
Last year, Ukraine accounted for 0.2% of BASF's total sales.
COCA-COLA HBC, LONDON-LISTED BOTTLER WITH RUSSIAN OPERATIONS
"We have contingencies in place for all scenarios, including
alternative sourcing, so that we can act swiftly," Zoran
Bogdanovic, chief executive of Coca-Cola HBC, told
He said the soft drinks company, which operates in 29
European and African countries and counts Russia and Nigeria as
its two biggest markets, had learned lessons from its experience
during the 2014 Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
"We ensure that we have the right level of stocks in our
markets to avoid disruptions."
DANONE, WHICH GETS 6% SALES FROM RUSSIA
"Our local teams are monitoring the situation very closely
with a view to ensure the security of employees," a Danone
The French company is the world's largest yogurt company
and controls Russian dairy brand Prostokvashino. It mainly
produces dairy products in Russia.
HEIDELBERGCEMENT, GERMAN COMPANY WITH THREE PLANTS IN RUSSIA
"We do not expect any major impact on our Russian business
should the conflict escalate further. All of our three Russian
cement plants supply their respective local/regional markets and
do not export outside Russia," a Heidelberg
spokesperson said. The company sold its Ukraine operations in
INGKA GROUP, WHICH RUNS IKEA STORES AND MALLS WORLDWIDE
"Potential sanctions are likely to affect all international
companies, including Ingka Group," the company said in a
METRO, GERMAN RETAILER WITH RUSSIAN OPERATIONS
"Our responsibility as a company in Russia lies primarily
with our approximately 10,000 employees and 2.5 million
customers," a Metro spokesperson said, adding that the same
concerns applied for Metro in Ukraine.
NESTLE, FOOD GROUP WITH FACTORIES IN RUSSIA
"(We) have business continuity plans in place that can be
activated as needed. The safety and protection of our employees
remains our highest priority. We will not speculate on any
potential sanctions," a Nestle spokesperson said.
As of 2020, the company had six factories in Russia,
including plants making confectionary and drinks. Its 2020 sales
from Russia were worth about $1.7 billion.
NESTE, FINNISH REFINER AND BUYER OF RUSSIAN OIL
"If sanctions are aimed at Russian crude oil and oil
products, it will have an impact on the oil market globally. It
is very difficult to define those impacts at this stage," Sami
Oja, interim leader of the oil products business at Neste
, told Reuters. "If there were no Russian oil
available, Neste would buy its crude oil in other markets."
The company relies on Russia for two thirds of its oil
"A significant part of Neste's crude oil purchases are made
on so-called spot markets, meaning one load at a time, and
therefore we are able to react flexibly to changes in the
markets in our purchases if necessary," he said.
NOKIAN TYRES, WHICH HAS A PLANT AND WAREHOUSE IN RUSSIA
"We prepare for different scenarios as part of our normal
risk-management work, and now we have intensified the work due
to the current geopolitical situation, including availability
planning," a spokesperson said.
Nokian was prepared to transfer certain product
groups between factories if the situation required.
RENAULT, WHICH HAS RUSSIAN JOINT VENTURE AVTOVAZ
Russian carmaker Avtovaz, controlled by
France's Renault, is seeking alternative supplies of
electronic chips in case U.S. sanctions curb deliveries, Avtovaz
CEO said, without indicating how Avtovaz secures chips for its
car plants in Russia.
"At this stage, it is premature to estimate what could be
the sanctions," a Renault spokesperson said.
VOLKSWAGEN, GERMAN AUTOMAKER
"The degree of impact on our business activities in the
affected countries is continuously determined. Regarding all
activities on site, the safety and integrity of our employees is
our top priority," the company said in a statement.
(Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Compiled by Edmund Blair, Dave
Dolan, Sayantani Ghosh
Editing by Carmel Crimmins, Gareth Jones and David Goodman)