The London Stock Exchange said it suspended trading in 28 Russia-linked companies, including gas giant Gazprom and the country’s second-largest lender, Sberbank.
The LSE halted trading in the shares with immediate effect on Thursday morning after prices fell following sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“It was based on sanctions and the ability to run an orderly market,” LSE boss David Schwimmer said in a statement.
He warned that more corporate actions could be suspended if affected by future sanctions.
Other big companies hit so far include energy company EN+ and oil major Lukoil. EN+ is partly owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and has paid his Tory counterpart Lord Barker up to £6million a year in his role as executive chairman.
Announcements of sanctions weigh more and more heavily on Russian companies. Last week, a subsidiary of Russia’s second-biggest bank, VTB, was suspended from the London Stock Exchange following sanctions introduced following the invasion.
Sberbank announced on Wednesday that it would close its European branch after depositors rushed to withdraw cash.
Billionaire oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven have had their shares in the $22bn (£17bn) conglomerate LetterOne, which owns Holland & Barrett, ‘frozen’. The pair were hit with sanctions last week.
However, a number of Russian companies, including Evraz, backed by Roman Abramovich, continue to trade on the stock exchange. Mr Abramovich hastily put Chelsea football club up for sale this week with a price tag of £3billion.
Even Russian oil and gas companies, which have been excluded from sanctions lists, are facing problems as customers refuse to accept delivery of shipments they fear will be sanctioned upon arrival.
The LSE reported a 6.1% rise in total revenue to £6bn for 2021. Adjusted pre-tax profits rose 26.8% to £2.3bn for the 12 months to the end December, compared to the previous year.
LSE said its own operations in Russia accounted for 1% of its global revenue and it was “actively engaging with regulators and authorities on all relevant sanctions and taking appropriate action”.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-03 15:07:22