Visa, MasterCard Better Off Quitting Russia due to new regulation, Morgan Stanley Says

New legislation placing foreign payment service providers under the thumb of Russian regulators is so damaging to Visa and MasterCard that the two U.S. companies might be better off abandoning the Russian market, according to research by investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Compliance with the new law will cost Visa and MasterCard at least $2.9 billion — some five times more than the two companies’ combined annual revenue in Russia, Morgan Stanley estimated in a confidential May 6 report titled “The Russian Bear: Impacts on V and MA,” obtained by The Moscow Times on Thursday.