Following Russia's closure on several McDonalds in Moscow, the CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce is worried: "The question on my mind is: Is this going to be a knock on the door, or is this going to be the beginning of a campaign?" As Reuters reports, businessmen from both West and East are increasingly frustrated with the tit-for-tat sanctions (and their apparent lack of efficacy at anything but slowing global growth). Russian and Ukrainian CEOs joined Richard Branson to write "We, as business leaders from Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the world, urge our governments to work together to ensure we do not regress into the Cold War misery of the past." As we noted previously, Europe has suffered most, and the following European companies remain the most exposed to escalation.
We already explained why Europe is suffering the most... as Stocks are discounting...
Russia said on Thursday it was investigating dozens of McDonald's restaurants, in what many businessmen said was retaliation for Western sanctions over Ukraine they fear could spread to other symbols of Western capitalism.
"Obviously, it's driven by the political issues surrounding Ukraine," said Alexis Rodzianko, President and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.
"The question on my mind is: Is this going to be a knock on the door, or is this going to be the beginning of a campaign?"
In a sign of growing frustration at the threat to trade, several mid-tier Russian businessmen signed off on a letter by British entrepreneur Richard Branson calling on politicians to stop the conflict.
"We, as business leaders from Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the world, urge our governments to work together to ensure we do not regress into the Cold War misery of the past," the letter said.
So far no other prominent Western brand has reported coming under extra scrutiny from the Russian authorities, though there were Russian media reports that Jack Daniels was being investigated. The whiskey producer said it would challenge any accusations about its quality
Nevertheless, big foreign brands are viewed as vulnerable.
And here is SocGen to show Europe's most exposed firms... Our Russian-related basket has been strongly correlated to the deteriorating newsflow over the past six months.
Our basket has dropped by 15% since the beginning of the geopolitical tensions (on 28 February 2014), strongly underperforming the Stoxx 600 (+0%).
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Costs indeed... maybe US should sanction ISIS?