Yandex to be Delisted from US Exchanges, Alongside 4 Other Russian Tech Firms

Russia’s internet companies are to be formally delisted from U.S. stock exchanges, a sign that the world’s largest equity markets are tightening their grip on the Kremlin-funded entities despite public assurances to the contrary. Of all of Moscow’s interventions in Ukraine and Syria, none has been as controversial as its disinformation campaign aimed at dividing America and weakening NATO allies. The five companies targeted by Monday’s action– Yandex, Group, Rambler Media LLC, Renova Group GAZ NewSPACE Holding SA and Prodnorm LLC– have generated more than $24 billion in combined market

Yandex rode the wave of Russian internet usage to become one of the world’s largest tech companies. It caters to a range of users with its products including search, e-commerce, advertising, maps, transportation, and more. The company has amassed a user base exceeding 200 million and regularly ranks as one of Russia’s most popular companies.

Amidst the increased tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Yandex’s stock took a hit as some investors worried about the business’ potential effects from a potential military clash. However, in February of 2022, Nasdaq suspended trading in the company’s shares due to concerns around its business. The suspension was later lifted and Yandex re-joined the Nasdaq exchange in May of that year. While facing significant headwinds during Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, Yandex ultimately emerged stronger as a public company and is currently worth over $31 billion.


Many Western companies suspended operations in Russia in early 2022 due to the sanctions placed on the country by the international community, while domestic companies were also hit hard. Yandex specifically has been divesting some of its properties, including offloading its news service to a rival with close ties to Russian State.

CEO Arkady Volozh claims that the restructuring will allow Yandex to concentrate on its strengths and better compete in the digital economy. The company has already divested itself of several Russian-based businesses, including social networks Odnoklassniki and VKontakte, ride-sharing service Yandex Taxi, and land registration services Zemlya.

Moscow has been unsettled by geopolitical turmoil, which has had a negative impact on Russian tech companies. Yandex, Ozon, and Qiwi have all been impacted by the issue. Nasdaq halted trading in HeadHunter and Cian due to their Russian locations, while the NYSE halted trading in Russian real estate database company Dala. The volatility of the market makes it difficult for these companies to thrive when their primary revenue stream is tied to global market activity.

Cian, one of the four companies notified by Nasdaq that delisting proceedings were underway, is a Chinese internet company with operations in online advertising and e-commerce. The company has been the target of multiple allegations of fraudulent behavior, including false claims about its own products and business practices. Cian has also been previously placed on Sentinel Nanotechnologies’ watch list for being “a high-risk issuer.”

Nasdaq’s ability to delist securities depends on a number of factors, including whether continuing to list the security would be inadvisable or unwarranted. This could be caused by any event, condition, or circumstance that exists or occurs. So while it is always possible for Nasdaq to delist a security, it has discretion in doing so based on the circumstances at hand.

The delisting process is a rigorous one, and companies facing it must be prepared for the challenge. Whether they are successful in their appeal or not, however, remains to be seen.

If, as seems likely, all four companies decide to appeal the decision by the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), it is unclear what might happen next. If upheld, the FAS ruling could result in draconian new regulations for online advertising that would be far stricter than anything currently enforced in Russia. Alternatively, if one of the companies fails to win an appeal then it could be forced out of business; this is because absent a permissible antimonopoly exemption, any company found to have violated antitrust laws can be fined up to10% of its annual global sales or face closure.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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