Austria’s Raiffeisen says Ukrainian sanctions target its leasing unit

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International is seen on their headquarters in Vienna

VIENNA (Reuters) – A Russian leasing unit of Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International is among the companies targeted by sanctions that Ukraine announced overnight, RBI said on Sunday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced a wave of sanctions overnight targeting 182 Russian and Belarusian companies along with three individuals. The companies mainly deal with goods transportation, vehicle leasing and chemical production.

RBI operates both in Russia and Ukraine and earns about half its profit in Russia, making it one of the European banks most exposed to that market. Ukraine often calls on companies including RBI to leave Russia, though its latest sanctions are unlikely to have a significant impact on RBI’s Russian business.

“The political decision of the Ukrainian government to put around 30 Russian leasing companies, including Raiffeisen Leasing Russia, on a sanctions list means that leased goods of Raiffeisen Leasing Russia’s customers can be confiscated on Ukrainian territory,” an RBI spokesperson said.

The company leases items including cars and forklift trucks.

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“Raiffeisen Leasing Russia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raiffeisenbank Russia. The leasing volume it financed amounted to 362 million euros ($393 million) at the end of December 2022. It has not concluded any new leasing contracts since the outbreak of the war,” the spokesperson added.

($1 = 0.9202 euros)

(Reporting by Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich; Writing by Francois Murphy; Editing by Toby Chopra)