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Swedish engineering giant ABB to quit Russia over Ukraine

Swedish-Swiss engineering giant ABB said on Thursday it will quit Russia as a result of the war in Ukraine and the related international sanctions against Moscow.

Swedish engineering giant ABB to quit Russia over Ukraine
A worker at Hitachi ABB Powergrids in Ludvika. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

Russia accounts for only one or two percent of ABB’s overall annual turnover and the decision to pull out will have an estimated financial impact in the second quarter of around $57 million, the group calculated.

“ABB has decided to exit the Russian market due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and impact of related international sanctions,” the group said in a statement.

Russia accounts for only one or two percent of ABB’s overall annual sales and the decision to pull out will have an estimated financial impact in the second quarter of around $57 million, the group calculated.

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A large number of major western companies have pulled out of Russia since Moscow invaded its pro-Western neighbour on February 24.

“When the war broke out, ABB stopped taking new orders in Russia,” the group said.

At the same time, it said it continued to fulfill “a small number of existing contractual obligations with local customers, in compliance with applicable sanctions.”

Most of ABB’s dedicated Russian workforce has been on leave since March “and the company will do its best to support them as it realigns its operations in a controlled manner,” it said.

ABB has about 750 people in Russia and two production sites in the country located in the Moscow region and Lipetsk, as well as several service centres.

Separately, the group said that its net profit fell by 50 percent to $379 million in the second quarter, largely as a result of one-off charges, but also the cost of withdrawing from Russia.

Sales, on the other hand, grew by six percent to $7.2 billion in the period from April to June, ABB said.

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BUSINESS

Former Swedish bank chief goes on trial for fraud

Former chief executive of Swedish bank Swedbank, Birgitte Bonnesen, went on trial in Stockholm on Tuesday to answer fraud and market manipulation charges, three years after a money laundering scandal implicating her bank erupted.

Former Swedish bank chief goes on trial for fraud

In early 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged in an investigative documentary that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to 3.9 billion euros, $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money-laundering laws. The aggravated fraud charge, brought in January, carries a jail term of up to six years.

According to prosecutor Thomas Langrot, Bonnesen “intentionally or by aggravated negligence … passed on false information about the bank’s measures to prevent, detect, block and signal suspicions about money-laundering in (its) operations.”

Bonnesen, through her lawyer, has denied all of the charges against her as she faces a trial set to last up to eight weeks.

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