|Yandex Sinks as Putin Hints at Stronger Internet Control |
By Halia Pavliva Apr 24, 2014 5:57 PM CT
President Vladimir Putin’s threat to subject Yandex NV (YNDX), Russia’s largest search-engine company, to more regulation is deepening the stock’s selloff.
Yandex plunged 5.6 percent in New York yesterday to its lowest level since June after Putin said the company may need to get a media license to publish news on its website. The stock is down 38 percent this year, making it the worst performer on the Bloomberg index of the most-traded Russian stocks in the U.S., after soaring two-fold in 2013. Futures on the RTS index rose in U.S. hours.
Putin, speaking at a conference in St. Petersburg, said Russia should protect its information in a market dominated by U.S. technology. The comments suggest Putin may try to gain more control of Russia’s online industry as his push into neighboring Ukraine fuels the worst standoff with the U.S. and its allies since the end of the Cold War, said Ian Hague, founding partner of Firebird Management LLC.
“The Kremlin seems to be very concerned about its ability to control people’s communications on the Internet, particularly communications in Russian,” Hague, based in New York, said by phone yesterday. “It’s hard to interpret Putin’s comments as anything but negative for Yandex.”
Firebird, which manages $1.3 billion of assets including Russian stocks, doesn’t hold Yandex shares, Hague said.
When Yandex started, “they were pushed to have a certain number of Americans and Europeans in their management,” Putin said at the conference yesterday. “Some of their regulation is done abroad, and not only for the purpose of taxation, but for other reasons. That is a complex area.”
</snip> Read the rest here: bloomberg.com