Russian tanker firm Sovcomflot set to close its Cyprus business

Georgios Georgiou April 15, 2022

(Bloomberg) — Russian tanker operator Sovcomflot PJSC is set to close its Cyprus-based payment center as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, according to people familiar with the matter.

The office could close by May 15 and Sovcomflot might move its tasks to an Asian country, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because no decision has been announced. SCF Group says it established the unit in Cyprus in 2005 to handle financial management, accounting and consolidated reporting

Sovcomflot operates about 110 tankers, according to data from Clarksons Research Services Ltd., a unit of the world’s largest ship broker. The vessels range from small ships that carry oil products to giant vessels that can haul more than 2 million barrels of crude, ship-tracking data show.  

The company has 52 Aframaxes, making it the largest owner of such vessels in the world, according to Clarksons. The mid-sized vessels typically operate in the Mediterranean, North Sea, the Black Sea and the Baltic region. 

Sovcomflot would be the second major Russian company to close down in Cyprus, which is part of the European Union. RCB Bank Ltd. shuttered its banking operations in late March after Russia’s VTB Bank PJSC sold its stake in the lender, given the EU and U.S. sanctions related to the war in Ukraine. 

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