There are billions of dollars of international financial institutions stuck in Russia that invested in the Russian economy even before the war. The money is kept in special C-type accounts, but neither the Russian authorities nor the Western companies that owned Russian assets have access to it. This is reported by Bloomberg with reference to representatives of financial institutions, many of whom agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity due to possible risks amid the war.
The agency notes that the accounts of foreign companies in Russian banks continue to be replenished, as a significant part of the funds was invested in bonds, coupons on which continue to be paid, as well as dividend shares. The central bank responsible for organizing and moderating these accounts does not disclose the amount of funds that are currently on them, the regulator also declined to comment on this.
However, it is possible to estimate the amount of funds by indirect parameters. According to the statistics of the Central Bank, before the war, foreigners invested about $150 billion in the Russian economy, but the regulator does not disclose how much money they managed to withdraw. According to sources, as of November, there were about 280 billion rubles, or $3.7 billion, in bank accounts (that is, only income from shares and bonds), according to sources. irretrievable losses.
“You should recognize that these assets are no longer worth anything, and forget about them,” the publication quotes the words of asset manager Tim Love at GAM Investment Management.
In addition to the funds of small funds and not very well-known funds, the money of such mastodons as JPMorgan Asset Management and Schroders Plc got stuck in Russia. Representatives of large funds tacitly admit that as long as Vladimir Putin remains president of Russia, there is no hope of returning their assets and funds. The financial loss is disappointing for managers, agency sources admit. The manager of the Norwegian company Skagen AS, Alexandra Morris, found herself in a similar situation, who regretted that about 9% of the fund's assets were in Russian assets.
“We have to be careful about what we show our clients. Unfortunately, the likelihood that we will return access to our assets is extremely small, they can be confiscated any day,” she says.
Nevertheless, some managers still expect to return at least some of the assets stuck in Russia. For example, a report by East Capital, which simply wrote down Russian assets to zero, stated that these "write-down assets still have value and generate cash flow." Some companies expect to get their assets through legal procedures: for example, Grigory Marinichev, a partner at the law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius, said that some of his clients are trying to find “technical loopholes”.
As an example, he named the option of finding a partner from a "friendly country for Russia" and reselling these assets to him, which would save at least part of the funds. Another way to partially save money is to convert the funds in type “C” accounts into assets that could be sold to investors who are not under sanctions. However, Marinichev acknowledges that both options involve a high degree of risk and significant losses. “But something is better than nothing,” summed up the lawyer.
The assets of foreign investors were locked up as a result of the response of the Russian authorities to Western sanctions against the financial sector. They banned foreign investors from "unfriendly countries" from withdrawing their assets from the country, removed them from trading, and all assets are in brokerage and bank accounts without the possibility of movement outside the Russian financial system.