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“Goldman Sachs is winding down its business in Russia in compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements,” the bank said in a statement to multiple media outlets. “We are focused on supporting our clients across the globe in managing or closing out pre-existing obligations in the market and ensuring the well-being of our people.”
The bank still facilitates debt securities trades connected to Russia, Bloomberg reported.
“In our role as market-maker standing between buyers and sellers, we are helping our clients reduce their risk in Russian securities which trade in the secondary market, not seeking to speculate,” Goldman said, according to CNBC.
The distance between Russia and western institutions is growing after businesses such as Apple, Google, Visa, Mastercard, McDonald’s, and Starbucks all announced that they are closing their operations in the country.
Russia, a country with the most land area in the world and with a population of more than 144 million, has an economy smaller than that of Italy or the state of Texas, according to their 2020 GDPs.
Many larger American banks had smaller Russian operations, with Citigroup filings showing they had the largest exposure at $9.8bn. Goldman’s exposure was estimated to be $940m, according to analysts at Bank of America.
Citigroup revealed plans to sell their Russia operation last year, long before the start of the invasion last month. But the invasion of Ukraine has prompted the company to make its Russian consumer banking operation “more limited” in scope.
“We are continuing our previously announced efforts to exit our consumer banking business in Russia,” the bank said on Wednesday. “As we work toward that exit, we are operating that business on a more limited basis given current circumstances and obligations. We are also supporting our corporate clients in Russia, including many American and European multi-national corporations who we are helping as they suspend or unwind their business.”
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