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HomeBusinessInvestors Calm After Kremlin Seizes Finnish Energy Company’s Assets

Investors Calm After Kremlin Seizes Finnish Energy Company’s Assets

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Russia’s decision to temporarily take over the Russian assets of Fortum has not caused panic among investors and after a slump, the company’s share recovered.

The Russian Federal Agency for State Property Management announced on Tuesday evening that the assets owned in the country by the Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum and its former German subsidiary Uniper had been temporarily seized.

”The decree has no relation to ownership, and the owners are not stripped of their assets,” the statement reads. Russia’s federal agency said the move aims to ”ensure uninterrupted work of companies that are vital for stable functioning of the Russian energy sector”.

“The list of companies under external management may be expanded if necessary,” according to the Russian decree referenced in the statement, which adds that the measure was necessary because of actions by ”unfriendly” countries ”contrary to international law”.

In its press release on Wednesday morning, Fortum said it had received no official confirmation from the Russian authorities, and the company is currently ”investigating the situation”.

Inderes, the biggest equity analyst team in Finland, released a comment before the Helsinki Stock Exchange opened on Wednesday, saying that for Fortum, the consequences of the Russian move are not as dramatic as they first appeared. The comment had a calming effect. The Fortum share opened with a mere 2% nosedive, but in the afternoon, it had climbed up to 1.08% in the green.

However, ”it remains unclear how this (Russian takeover) affects, e.g. Fortum’s Russian operations or the ongoing divestment process,” the press release also says. In Russia, Fortum employs 7,000 people who work in seven power plants valued at around €1.7 billion.

In spring 2022, Fortum announced a ”controlled exit” from Russia, but the process has not progressed as hoped.

Commenting on the issue to YLE, the Professor at the Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen said Fortum is now in ”limbo”.

Blaming the government, he claimed that, as Fortum’s majority owner, the state should have urged the company to leave Russia without delay following its attack on Ukraine and follow the example of British Petroleum.

Source: Euractiv

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