Shares of steelmaker Evraz continue to fall for weeks amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

Ottawa is not ruling out sanctions against Russian companies operating in Canada following the invasion of Ukraine – a list that could include steelmaker Evraz, one of Regina’s biggest employers, and whose majority shareholder is a Russian oligarch.

“Everything is on the table and we are carefully reviewing the assets of the oligarchs in Canada,” Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on Tuesday when asked directly about the imposition of sanctions on Evraz.

Even without sanctions, the steel company’s share price – which is headquartered in the UK and has facilities in Alberta and Saskatchewan – is plummeting.

It has fallen nearly 90% in the past month as investors have watched tensions escalate and the threat of a Russian invasion grow, said Keith Willoughby, dean of the University’s Edwards School of Business. from Saskatchewan.

Evraz’s majority shareholder is Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who holds a 28.6% stake in Evraz. He has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the US Treasury Department.

That puts the company squarely in Ottawa’s sights, after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine last week that was condemned by most of the global community.

Evraz’s stock prices fell as tensions between Russia and Ukraine grew. (London Stock Exchange)

Canada is part of a global effort to stop the invasion by implementing a variety of economic and social sanctions designed to pressure the Russian President to end the invasion.

“I have to be honest with Canadians that there could be collateral damage in Canada” because of these sanctions, Freeland said Tuesday.

“In order to really have an impact, we are going to have to be prepared for there to be negative consequences for our own economies.”

Willoughby said the speed and consistency with which countries are applying sanctions against Russian companies is unprecedented.

“I don’t know if I’ve seen that much scale in terms of sanctions…whether economic or political, even sporting.”

In the short term, Willoughby does not expect the sanctions against Evraz, if implemented, to impact employment or operations in Regina.

“I don’t see this developing into a situation yet where you would see layoffs or closure of facilities,” he said, but if the sanctions are implemented and drag on, jobs and contracts premises could be threatened.

“I think that’s where it gets more worrying from a local business perspective.”

According to Evraz’s website, its Regina plant produces carbon steel slabs and large diameter pipe used for oil and gas pipelines. Although Saskatchewan-specific details are scarce, the Regina plant has been in operation since 1961 and is one of the city’s largest employers.

Evraz supplied steel for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which was fully delivered in the second quarter of 2021, Freeland said.

A spokesperson for Evraz did not immediately respond to interview requests or provide details about the Regina facility.

Provincial government spokesman Matthew Glover said there would undoubtedly be economic repercussions if Ottawa sanctions Evraz.

“While international sanctions are a matter of federal authority, we believe that Russia should face appropriate consequences for its unlawful aggression against Ukraine,” Glover said in an emailed statement.

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