Russian Google competitor Yandex crashes 59% after Putin launches invasion of Ukraine

  • Google competitor Yandex crashed as much as 59% on Thursday after Russia invaded Ukraine.
  • The decline in Yandex’s stock price led to a $7 billion wipeout in market value on Thursday.
  • Russia faces a slew of economic sanctions from Western countries that could shock its economy.

Yandex stock crashed as much as 59% on Thursday after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian-based Google-search competitor wiped out more than $7 billion in market value on Thursday, with the company now worth just over $5 billion. At its record high in November, Yandex was valued at $31 billion, representing a swift three-month decline of about 82%. 

Yandex isn’t the only Russian stock in freefall. Russia’s MOEX stock market index plunged as much as 50% and erased more than $250 billion in market value on Thursday. The decline led Russia’s central bank to ban the practice of short-selling stocks in an attempt to stem the decline. Short-selling allows investors to profit when a stock price moves lower.

The decline in Yandex and other Russian stocks comes as Western countries weigh more sanctions against Russia that are designed to cripple its economy and put pressure on Vladimir Putin and his decision to attack Ukraine.

“This morning, I met with my G7 counterparts to discuss President Putin’s unjustified attack on Ukraine and we agreed to move forward on devastating packages of sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia to account,” President Joe Biden said.

Yandex is listed on the Nasdaq exchange and went public in 2011, raising just over $1 billion when it priced its IPO at $25 per share. On Thursday, Yandex traded around $16 per share. 

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