Moody’s is getting out of Russia.
The credit ratings company will withdraw all of its Russian corporate credit ratings and shut down its joint venture with Russian media company Interfax.
Moody’s rates about 150 debt issuers in Russia, and opened up shop in 1997. But new rules for rating agencies in Russia have caught the company in a web of geopolitical tensions.
The Russian government approved laws, which take effect next year, requiring rating agencies to guarantee they won’t withdraw local credit ratings if asked to by a foreign governement.
Following these rules could have Moody’s falling foul of international sanctions from Europe and the US on Russian businesses.
Moody’s said its decision to close down in Russia “was taken in light of legislative changes and other potential restrictions” to its business “and notably the expected requirements regarding structural and operational independence which would limit” the Russian joint-venture’s ability to call on the rest of the Moody’s network for resources.
A diplomatic falling out between Moscow and the West over Ukraine has seen busines ties being steadily cut between the two regions. Last year Deutsche Bank closed its Russian corporate banking arm in Russia and sent its regional chief, Joerg Bongartz, back to Frankfurt.