Today’s Markets: Stocks still under pressure
Russia exposed stocks under pressure still: Polymetal (POLY), JPMorgan Russian Securities (JRS) and Petropavlosk (POG) all sharply lower again, whilst Evraz (EVR) and Ferrexpo (FXPO) tried to rally a bit before turning lower. Sberbank in freefall, down 94 per cent in the last two weeks in London, with the Treasury adding the bank to its list of sanctioned entities. After trading at $15 two weeks ago it’s now under $1. The ruble has come off its lows and trades around 91 to the US dollar. At the moment it looks as though the Russian central bank is doing a not terrible job of supporting the currency, but through some pretty tough measures – massive rate hike and capital controls. How long can this last? First Switzerland and now even Monaco is kicking out Russian money!
FCA suspends Russian bank GDR
In what actually be a mercy given the massive losses Russian-owned companies have seen on global stock markets in recent days, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has suspended trading of the global depositary receipt (GDR) of Bank VTB (RU:VTBR). This happened after BNY Mellon resigned as depositary of the receipts, the London Stock Exchange said.
Gold miner Polymetal (POLY), which reports its 2021 results tomorrow, is down 70 per cent since Thursday, with another 5 per cent fall this morning. The lion’s share of this decrease came on Monday after the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, which is a major shareholder, said it would sell off Russian holdings.
The Moscow Stock Exchange has not opened for trading this week, while most Russian-owned companies with primary or secondary listings in London have plummeted as financial sanctions are ramped up. Steelmaker and miner Evraz (EVR), almost 30-per-cent-owned by Roman Abramovich, is down almost 50 per cent since Thursday. Polyus (PLZL), another gold miner, saw its share price halve on Tuesday morning in London despite announcing it would pay a dividend. AH
Shell CFO leaves after HQ move
Shell (SHEL) described CFO Jessica Uhl as the “architect” of its share consolidation and head office shift from the Netherlands to the UK. In that case, she designed her own exit given she has now resigned because “a long-term relocation to the UK is not sustainable” due to family circumstances. Uhl, who has been in the job since 2017, said it had been “an immense privilege to contribute to Shell’s leadership as we sought to reposition Shell for the future”.
She has a tough job to do before finishing on 31 March: selling Shell’s stakes in Russian oil and gas projects and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Her replacement is Sinead Gorman, currently executive vice president of finance in the upstream division. AH
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