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Today's business and finance round up 25th February 2022

😔Companies brace for impact from Russia sanctions

25th February 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond

Good morning The last 24 hours have taken an unfortunate turn as a war, that could be Europe’s largest conflict in decades, has begun with Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.In light of just how extraordinary the situation is the Financial Times is making key Ukraine coverage free to read to keep everyone informed as events unfold.

Today's stories

  • Companies brace for impact from Russia sanctions

  • Yo! Sushi owner eyes London listing

ECONOMYCompanies brace for impact from Russia sanctions

What’s going on?The UK, US and EU are all preparing to implement even heavier sanctions on Russia after Russian forces invaded Ukraine by land, air and sea in the biggest offensive in Europe since the Second World War. Stock markets around the world – already jittery from the prospect of a conflict - fell sharply. The FTSE 100 suffered its worst day since June 2020, falling 3.9%, the German Dax index fell 4% and the Russian stock market plummeted 35%.

Why is this important?

One day after the UK government unveiled a first wave of sanctions targeting a handful of Russian banks and billionaires, it’s upped the ante by announcing wider measures that will hit even more Russian banks, companies and wealthy people.Large multinational corporations with operations are bracing themselves for the impact of sanctions:Oil: BP and Shell all have significant investments in Russia that could be threatened by sanctions on Russia’s energy market.Banks: JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, which do business in Russia, would have to cut ties with local lenders if broad financial sanctions happen. Cross-border payments could be frozen, which might mean lost profits.Beer: Danish brewer Carlsberg is Ukraine’s biggest beer seller, while Russia accounts for 10% of its sales. It has breweries in both countries and said it’s working on contingency plans in case sanctions disrupt beer-making.

Zooming out

Sanctions could hit European consumers hardest. Western companies were relatively unaffected by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. But as the world’s largest natural gas producer and third biggest exporter of oil, Russia can cut supply at a time when prices are already sky high. Brits, who are facing for the highest petrol prices ever, could experience even more pump anxiety if global supply shrinks.

CONSUMERYo! Sushi owner eyes London listing

The owners of fast-casual restaurant chain Yo! Sushi are gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange later this year, according to reports from Sky.Snowfox Group has lined up three investment banks for a listing as soon as next month and is hoping to achieve a valuation of £750m. The group has become a major international player in the Japanese food wholesale sector, selling more than 60m trays of sushi annually and supplying retailers such as Tesco and Asda in the UK.Founded 25 years ago Yo! Sushi, known for its sushi conveyor belt, has 65 outlets across the world with most in the UK, During 2020 it was forced to slash the number of sites and jobs to cope with lockdown restrictions.But 2022 could be a tough year to land an IPO. The ongoing volatility in the stock market will make investors nervous about parting with their cash given the uncertainty created by the Russia/Ukraine crisis.

Stat of the day

Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of global wheat exports

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Energy price cap could spike to £3,000 per household

  • Oil smashes past $105 and stocks sink as Putin pulls trigger on Ukraine

  • HMRC issues warning to crypto criminals

  • British Gas owner Centrica doubles profits as households face energy bills spike

  • Bonuses return at Lloyds as profits surge fivefold to £6.9bn

  • Recruiter Hays sees profits surge over 300% as companies clamour for staff

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