Aug 21 (Reuters) - Western sanctions imposed on Moscow for its perceived backing of rebels in eastern Ukraine have accelerated an economic downturn in Russia and disrupted business for foreign companies that had invested heavily to tap Russia’s growing middle class.
Here are comments and announcements from European companies showing the impact of the sanctions and retaliatory measures by Russia’s government.
* Shares in Raiffeisen Bank International jumped 9 percent after saying it saw no significant impact from the sanctions against Russia, where it is one of the top ten lenders, and posted surprisingly strong results.
* A significant amount of produce out at sea needs to be returned to its senders after Russia imposed a ban on food imports from Western countries, a unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk said in a regular newsletter to shippers.
* Rabobank, the leading lender to Dutch farmers, said its direct exposure to Russian sanctions was limited but some clients were suffering big losses due to the ban on imports of fruit and vegetables.
* Russia’s second-largest bank, state-controlled VTB , said an economic slowdown and political tensions over Ukraine had damaged its business, as it reported a 82 percent slide in first-half profit.
* Norway’s $885 billion sovereign wealth fund is likely to hang on to its $8.2 billion worth of Russian assets despite the sanctions on Moscow, but does not plan further purchases because of the political risks, it said on Wednesday.
* Russia’s drift towards recession has slashed Carlsberg’s sales in the country, while fellow brewer Heineken escaped the worst thanks to its smaller exposure to eastern Europe.
* Russia may tighten retaliatory sanctions against Western nations to include a ban on car imports if the United States and the European Union impose additional sanctions on Moscow, a Russian newspaper reported.
* Almost half of Finland’s companies are being hurt by the sanctions the European Union and Russia have imposed upon each other, a chamber of commerce survey showed.
* German utility E.ON posted a 12 percent drop in first-half core profit, hit by a weakening economy in Russia, and said it was concerned about the impact of the Ukraine crisis on its most important foreign market.
* Consumer goods group Henkel forecast a tough six months ahead, with political turmoil in Russia and volatile exchange rates hurting sales.
* The CEO of Finland’s Nokian Tyres said he expected sales volume in Russia to be about flat in the third quarter compared to a year earlier
* With foreign lending to Russia frozen, some European banks are trying to refinance existing loans to big companies there in order to protect their business.
* A drop in Russia’s car market quickened in July. Sales slid 23 percent, the latest sign that Russians are increasingly worried about the impact of the Ukraine crisis.
* Rheinmetall slashed its 2014 operating profit target after the German government withdrew its approval for a contract with Russia and the group shifted some of its automotive business to a joint venture.
* Part-nationalised British lender Royal Bank of Scotland said it had placed restrictions on its lending in Russia following developments in Ukraine.
* Adidas cut its profit target for this year and scrapped it for next year, blaming a plunge in sales at its golf business and exposure to a weak Russian market.
* German retailer Metro AG said conditions were still not right to list a stake in its Russian cash-and-carry business.
* French oil major Total said it had stopped buying shares in Russia’s Novatek when a Malaysian airliner was shot down over Ukraine, but it was still too early to gauge the impact of sanctions.
* BP posted a big rise in second-quarter profit but warned more sanctions on Russia could harm business there and its ties to state oil company Rosneft.
Compiled by Tom Pfeiffer