FT: Russia to threaten ‘naughty’ Western companies with nationalisation
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Russian president Vladimir Putin has moved that new draconian rules be drawn up making it even harder for Western companies to leave Russia, the Financial Times has learned.

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The Kremlin last week secretly ordered that the Russian state be given priority rights to buy any Western asset for sale at a "significant discount" so they could be sold at a profit, something tantamount to nationalisation.

Mr Putin’s order also requires all private Russian buyers of Western assets to be fully Russian-held or in a process to exclude all foreign shareholders, further complicating any exit procedure, as well as obliges new owners to float 20 percent of the asset on Russia’s stock market.

"I think nationalisation is inevitable. It is only a matter of time. The state will need money," a senior businessman in the process of selling his assets in Russia told the FT.

They added commodities groups would be hit hardest, as the Kremlin looks for more ways to tap export revenue for the budget, whereas technology companies would be less affected because they were "hard to run".

According to the Financial Times, Russia’s central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina has been among the strongest voices pushing to limit Western corporate exits and warn companies off with the threat of nationalisation.

"The [Russian] central bank is worried that an exodus of foreign capital could weaken the rouble and limit options for Russian investors," the publication reads.

Conversely, Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov has backed the exits as a way to extract more revenue for the budget.

Late last year, it was revealed Russia had toughened conditions for Western companies to leave its market, including a 10-percent ‘kickback’ to the budget and the sale of an asset for half its value.

As of early 2023, only 9 percent of nearly 1,500 global companies had left the Russian market.