Apple, Ford other big American brands join corporate wave shunning Russia



* Apple stops Russia sales, makes some app changes

* ESG investors support company action

* Rouble hits new low

By Dawn Chmielewski and Ross Kerber

March 2 (Reuters) - Some of America's best-known companies including Apple, Google, Ford and Harley-Davidson rebuked and rejected Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, under steady pressure from investors and consumers decrying the violence.

Apple Inc AAPL.O late on Tuesday said it had stopped sales of iPhones and other products in Russia, adding that it was making changes to its Maps app to protect civilians in Ukraine.

Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google dropped Russian state publishers from its news, and Ford Motor F.N , with three joint venture factories in Russia, told its Russian manufacturing partner it was suspending operations in the country. Motor cycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc HOG.N suspended shipments of its bikes.

Many corporations have been unusually clear in their condemnation of Russia.

"We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence," Apple said in a statement announcing a pause in sales in Russia.

The steady drum beat of companies taking a stance increased later in the day as rockets struck major cities in Ukraine.

"Ford is deeply concerned about the invasion of Ukraine and the resultant threats to peace and stability. The situation has compelled us to reassess our operations in Russia," Ford said, adding to several days of announcements by global car companies.

Boeing BA.N suspended parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines, a Politico reporter tweeted. The U.S. plane maker suspended major operations in Moscow and will also temporarily closed office in Kyiv, the tweet said.

Restriction from the West have hit the Russian economy hard, with the rouble currency hitting a record low of 117 to the dollar, down from 75 before Russia recognized two breakaway regions in Ukraine. Financial isolation is rising as shipping companies say they will not serve Russian ports.

And a boom of investor interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, is making it more difficult for those companies that sit on the sidelines.

Russian companies are in particular peril with such Western investors, since they often are not open to talks to change their behavior, said TJ Kistner, vice president at Segal Marco Advisors, a large U.S. pension consultant.

Western investors may respond by pulling out. “The only course of action for many is simply divestment,” Kistner said.

Moscow has responded by temporarily curbing foreign investors from selling Russian assets.

Big Tech companies also are continuing efforts to stop Russian forces from taking advantage of their products.

Apple said it had blocked app downloads of some state-backed news services outside of Russia, adding, "We have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens."



FACTBOX-Corporate ties to Russia uprooted as sanctions tighten

International banks put Russian sanctions into action

Russia seeks to halt investor stampede as sanctions hammer
economy

EXPLAINER-Which international banks are exposed to Russia?



Reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland; Ross Kerber in New York; Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Writing by Peter Henderson; Editing by Stephen Coates

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.