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SEOUL: South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co plans to exit Russia and sell its manufacturing plants there to a Kazakh company, South Korean media reported on Wednesday.

South Korean TV network MBC reported that negotiations to sell Hyundai’s factories in Russia are in the final stage, adding that the automaker has been waiting for a final approval from the Russian government.

“It is true that there are ongoing discussions regarding the sale, but nothing has been decided,” Hyundai Motor said, according to the TV network.

Hyundai Motor was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters outside regular business hours.

In March, Hyundai Motor said it was reviewing “various options” for its Russian operation.

Hyundai Motor’s Q1 net profit jumps 109%, beating expectations

Many factories in Russia have suspended production and furloughed workers due to shortages of high-tech equipment because of sanctions and an exodus of Western manufacturers since Moscow invaded Ukraine last year.

Hyundai Motor suspended operations at its Russian operation last year.

Hyundai Motor, together with affiliate Kia Corp, is among the world’s top 10 biggest automakers by sales and builds about 200,000 vehicles per year in Russia, about 4% of its global production capacity.

Along with Renault, Hyundai and its sister Kia were among top three selling brands in Russia before the war. Now as global players have pulled out, Chinese brands are replacing them in Russia’s war economy.

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