Sphere of Influence

Treasury and finance executives whose companies do business in Russia, the Ukraine, and other former Soviet republics are already seeing the effects of the Crimean crisis on their bottom lines.

The turmoil has caused the ruble’s exchange rate to plummet, making it more expensive for companies to import goods into Russia and to service existing debts.

The crisis is also making it more difficult for companies to borrow money. In addition, sanctions against individual banks are complicating cross-border payments.

Although January was a “pretty good month” for the Russian operations of Sika, a Swiss construction chemicals manufacturer, “February and March got worse,” said CFO Sergey Berezovka in a phone interview. “By the end of the first quarter, growth came to zero.”

This article was originally published at AFP Exchange, but is no longer available online.