Yandex was sold for half the price – and Russian investors are trying to understand whether they have been abandoned
Almost all the most important and interesting financial news in Russia and the world in a week: VPN blocking-unblocking in the Russian Federation, discrimination against Romanian-Bulgarian grandmothers, Sam Altman asks for $7 trillion in chips, and the honored Bitcoin academic of the USA has developed the best crypto training program.
Financial news from Russia, unfortunately, mostly does not correspond to the spirit of Habra. So you can read the full text version of this news release here, or watch the video.
- 1 “Yandex! There is hope that they will not abandon us…”
- 2 IIS-3 is an anti-gopher
- 3 VPNs in Russia don’t seem to be completely blocked yet
- 4 The business of stamping Romanian grandmothers is under threat
- 5 7 trillion bucks in food for ChatGPT
- 6 11 neurofriends of the cyber ear
- 7 Distinguished Bitcoin Academician of the United States of America
- 8 Good news of the week
“Yandex! There is hope that they will not abandon us…”
Last Monday, Yandex finally revealed how the division of the company will take place. And there, to be honest, you can’t get by without a bottle! The clearest overview of the scheme of the deal that I have seen is this one; Well, below I will try to briefly tell you the essence.
Yandex has always been primarily a Russian company: almost all assets, revenue and so on were concentrated inside Russia and on a Russian legal entity. But at the same time, the main company Yandex NV is registered in the Netherlands, so it is formally a “foreign” company.
According to Russian decrees issued in the last two years, it is now possible to buy out parts of a business from foreigners only at a 50% discount to their market price. Accordingly, the now approved agreement consists in the fact that the Dutch “mother” sells all its Russian business to a group of new (already purely Russian) owners for 475 billion rubles. (Exactly about twice as cheap as the capitalization of a company listed on the Moscow Exchange).
At the same time, buyers will pay half of this amount in live, crisp yuan, and for the second half, instead of money, they can send 176 million shares of the same main company Yandex NV (this is almost half of all shares in circulation). It turns out that, in this version, the Dutch Yandex will receive a quarter of its value in live dragonflies, plus it will be able to “repay” half of the shares in circulation – it turns out that if you divide this quarter of the money between half of the outstanding international shareholders, each will still have to pay approximately 50% of the current market value of the share. This is financial magic!
The operation itself will take place in two stages: the first steam locomotive will send dragonflies and 68 million shares to the Netherlands (a consortium of buyers managed to grab them from the market in advance, Wanga – at Euroclear with an even higher discount than 50%), and after a month or a half, the buyers will have to send the second part of the payment. At the same time, they will decide for themselves: if they want, they will pay the balance in cash, if they want, they will get shares somewhere and pay with them.
If you look at things purely from a mathematical point of view, it is more profitable to pay with money: because they already have a 50% discount; and if the shares are to be obtained from somewhere, then they will have to be purchased from the market, and the cost will probably be closer to the fair price… At the same time, nothing formally prevents the new owners from simply taking and stupidly throwing away all the minority shareholders (as was the case recently in the case of Qiwi) – to leave everyone who owns shares of Yandex NV on Mosbourge sitting with these worthless pieces of paper (inside of which is a dummy Dutch company and a bunch of RMB for half the real value).
Most likely, the new owners will not do so: they will still issue new shares on the stock exchange later on – tarnishing the reputation by starting the history of a renewed company with a rough throw of minority shareholders looks short-sighted (at least from the point of view of the future market capitalization of the business). Yes, they say that a not so large package of Yandex shares (notional 10%) is freely walking on the Mosbourge – they can be exchanged 1-for-1 for new shares. But what will happen to those Russians who own shares of Yandex NV through some Euroclear, here they can already say – “here and chew your yuan there for half price, if they are so smart.”
But in any case, it seems ironic to me how the Russian stock market is organized: even for the loudest “blue chips”, the protection of the rights of an ordinary shareholder rests solely on an honest word and some ephemeral “concepts”, not on transparent regulation and clear rules of the game.
A few words about who will now become the owner of Yandex: a third will belong to the company’s management, and the rest will be divided between Lukoil and some relative names. All anonymous guys are demonstrative and unsanctioned guys, they won’t be able to resell their shares within a year – that is, it gives the impression that they just “painted a nice picture” of the owners, which will be carefully reformatted for the right people a little later.
IIS-3 is an anti-gopher
Individual investment accounts of a new type (so-called IIS-3) are a kind of anti-gopher. Because we already see them (brokers open them to clients), but in reality they do not exist (the new tax benefits do not apply to them until the relevant changes are made to the Tax Code of the Russian Federation). Such matters!
VPNs in Russia don’t seem to be completely blocked yet
Kateryna Mizulina came to a meeting with schoolchildren in my native Ekb and said there that from March 1, all large VPN services will be blocked in Russia, because they are a “portal to hell.”
A little later, Roskomnadzor explained that it is actually a ban on the “popularization” of VPN services. That is, those VPNs that do not block access to materials prohibited for distribution on the territory of the Russian Federation will be limited in search results.
By the way, several of my articles are also prohibited for distribution on the territory of the Russian Federation. It turns out, “portal to hell” is for me? 🤔
The business of stamping Romanian grandmothers is under threat
In the last couple of years, many Russians have been actively offered to organize a Romanian or Bulgarian passport for a small amount of money – if you pay money to such helpers, they can miraculously “discover” a forgotten Romanian-Bulgarian grandmother in your family tree (which gives the “right” to claim the relevant citizenship ).
It seems that government agencies in these countries are beginning to suspect something: Bulgaria announced last week that they had uncovered fraudsters who were selling Russians such a way to get a passport for only 8k euros. The Ministry of Justice of Romania also said that, according to their estimates, since 2022, there have been approximately one thousand fraudulent passports – so the requirements for new future citizens are planned to be strengthened (in particular, the introduction of a mandatory language test).
7 trillion bucks in food for ChatGPT
The Wall Street Journal writes that Sam Altman (the head of OpenAI) is convincing investors to give him a pitiful $5-7 trillion to lift the chip industry from its knees. As soon as the money is mastered, that’s when it will finally be possible to pollinate super-intelligent AGI, says Sam!
Meanwhile, Nvidia (the main current manufacturer of chips on which neural networks are driven) has already surpassed the entire Chinese stock market in terms of its capitalization. Not surprisingly, Altman wouldn’t mind taking part in this financial party either.
11 neurofriends of the cyber ear
For those who doubt the commercial utility of neural networks, here is the next news for you: a financier from a multinational corporation was arrested in Hong Kong for transferring $25 million to fraudsters using a deepfake video conference.
Well, that is, imagine – an accountant joins a Zoom-call, and a dozen colleagues look at her sternly and report: “Tamara Palna, when the money will be, why hasn’t it come yet?”. All generated by a neuron, of course.
Distinguished Bitcoin Academician of the United States of America
And to the news of education! An enterprising fifty-year-old cryptan from the USA founded a respected institute called the American Bitcoin Academy. The curriculum within this academic discipline was drawn up as follows:
Students transfer crypton to a total of $1.2 million in BTC
He appropriates them to himself
Some hackers, in turn, break into the wallet of the cryptan-academic and steal all the Bitcoins
To be fair, after completing a full course of this “training”, students should really understand about everything they need to know about the crypto industry. (Okay, I stole this joke from Matt Levine, if you’re not already subscribed to his financier newsletter – now is the time to do so.)
Good news of the week
For more than a week, Apple Vision Pro glasses have been sold around the world – and here came the shocking news: they are not yet compatible with 3D porn. It seems that the chances of continuing to proliferate and not die out for humanity remain, and that’s a good thing!
I have more financial news and author analytics in the Telegram channel RationalAnswer.