Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yandex Hits It Big

Russian Internet giant Yandex had a good day yesterday, their initial public offering (IPO) on New York's Nasdaq stock exchange earned the company $1.3 billion, $300 million than expected. Not bad for a day's work...

Yandex is Russia's answer to Google. Last year Yandex accounted for roughly two-thirds of the Internet searches conducted in Russia, their free email service is also very popular in the Russian-speaking world. Their IPO wasn't harmed by revelations which came to light earlier this month that Yandex had passed information to the FSB (Russia's state security bureau) about payments made through their online service to a popular anti-corruption watchdog website. Yandex even admitted that doing business in today's Russia is challenging in the prospectus they provided to the Security and Exchange Commission in the United States ahead of their IPO where they warned that as a company they “may be subject to aggressive application of contradictory or ambiguous laws or regulations, or to politically-motivated actions.”

At the time of the FSB admission, Georgy Voronkov, an analyst from research firm Investcafe, dismissed its likely impact on Yandex's IPO, telling the BBC that “all big funds who plan to invest a lot of money in Russia are already aware of these risks.” Apparently he was right.
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