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Financing Russian firms: Ireland and round tripping

Cillian Doyle (School of Business, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)
Jim Stewart (School of Business, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

Critical Perspectives on International Business

ISSN: 1742-2043

Article publication date: 20 May 2020

Issue publication date: 23 November 2021




Ireland has become one of the main sources of finance for Russian based firms. The purpose of this paper is to quantify and analyse these flows to examine governance and regulatory issues, in particular the possible effect of sanctions.


The paper is based on detailed searches of publicly available filings in Company House, Ireland to identify Russian connected conduits. Data was extracted from available accounts and prospectuses for 106 conduits operating in Ireland for some or all of the period 2005-2017.


The paper shows gross flows from Irish based conduits to Russian firms amounted to €118bn for 2005-2017; flows may be partly explained by round tripping; sanctions have also affected flows; flows are facilitated by close linkages with professional networks both within Ireland, and other offshore financial centres, especially London; The conduits examined have no employees and are mostly owned by a charitable trust or trust. They have become a major part of a largely unregulated shadow banking system.


This paper used searches of publicly available company filings to create a unique database of individual firms. Data on the use of financial centres by individual firms is hard to obtain and the results of this study may be indicative of the use and nature of conduits in other financial centres which form part of the shadow banking sector.



*The authors would like to acknowledge helpful comments from Louis Brennan, Trinity Business School and David Jacobson, Dublin City University. The authors would also like to acknowledge the very helpful and constructive comments from the referees and editor of this journal.


Doyle, C. and Stewart, J. (2021), "Financing Russian firms: Ireland and round tripping", Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 522-545.



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