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Yandex capitalization down almost $1 bln as trading kicks off on Moscow Exchange

Shares of Russia’s largest internet service Yandex lost 10%

MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Shares of Russia’s largest internet service Yandex lost 10% as Friday trading opened on the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) to 2,011.5 rubles per share, according to the trading data. Meanwhile, the company’s capitalization on the MOEX shrank by 65.36 bln rubles, or $994.5 mln at the exchange rate of the Russian Central Bank for October 19.

As of 10:25 a.m. Moscow time, Yandex shares partially recovered losses to 2,069 rubles, down 7.5% since its previous closure.

On Thursday, the company’s shares lost 3.25%, dragging its capitalization down by around $335 mln following the publication in Vedomosti daily with reference to sources that Sberbank, Russia’s bigger lender, is mulling the purchase of a 30% stake in Yandex. Later Sberbank denied the report, saying that it is not interested in acquiring a stake in the internet service. As a result, the company’s shares dropped 4.1% since its previous closure on the Moscow Exchange on October 17 to 2,215.5 rubles per share.

Sberbank owns the ‘priority share’ in Yandex that was purchased at its nominal par value of 1 euro in 2009. The key right vested in the ‘priority share’ is to veto accumulation of stakes in Yandex in excess of 25% by a single entity or a group of related parties. An intended acquisition of a stake exceeding 25% requires the approval of the board of directors of the state-run bank. Moreover, Sberbank CEO Herman Gref has been member of Yandex board of directors for quite a while.

The main shareholders of Yandex are Arkady Volozh (10.35% of company shares and 49.23% of votes), WCM Investment Management (5.12% of shares and 2.46% of votes), and Vladimir Ivanov (3.83% of shares and 6.23% of votes). Overall, majority shareholders and the management control 19.53% of shares and 58.03% of votes.