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.