Lukashenko says he may quit as president
Belarus hits EU with tit-for-tat sanctions
Belarusian police introduce colour-coded torture system for detained protesters
Kremlin publicly condemns Belarusian police brutality in hint of growing frustration with Lukashenko
Russian services PMI rises to 48.2, but remains underwater as recovery continues to slow
Russia to start mass vaccinations on December 7
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev calls on Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran to assist in creating Nakhchivan land corridor
FPRI BMB Russia: Sberbank releases a three-year transformation strategy to e-commerce concern
Ukraine’s banking sector continues recovery, but profits still lagging last year
Ukraine’s real wages up over 10% in October but have been stagnant in dollar terms for almost a year
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Public has confused opinions on resolving the Donbas conflict
Western Balkans plus Ukraine subsidised coal with over €900mn in 2018-2019
Estonian parcel robot firm Cleveron eyes €30mn state loan
Estonia’s chief auditor says €1bn in state COVID-19 loans issued haphazardly
Economic sentiment in CEE falls in November as recovery momentum splutters
Estonian animation studio Imepilt to hold IPO
Brighter days ahead: The economic bounce back in 2021
Central, Southeast Europe stock markets jump in anticipation of COVID-free future
VISEGRAD BLOG: An easing of trade tensions but still an uncertain situation for export-oriented Central Europe
Hungary's PM risks isolation as Poland mulls dropping EU budget veto
Poland ready to back down from veto of EU budget
Hungary's ruling party in damage control mode after MEP sex scandal bombshell
Poland’s PMI remains stuck just above the improvement line at 50.8 in November
Czech companies dominate this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE
Coronacrisis to get worse before it gets better forecasts wiiw
EU diplomats say no chance of Bulgaria removing veto for Skopje to start EU accession talks
IMF says downside risks to Albanian economy are increasing
EU ministers fail to agree on launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia
Western Balkans commit to green agenda and regional common market at Sofia summit
Bosnia’s opposition ousts nationalist parties in major cities
Bosnia’s main ethnic parties fight to hold onto power in local elections
Southeast Europe’s EU members to get biggest boost from next budget and recovery funds
Bulgaria imposes 3-week lockdown to slow down COVID-19 spread
CEE politicians highlight trade and security ties as they congratulate Biden
Breakaway Transnistria fully under Sheriff’s control as Obnovlenie party sweeps board in parliament election
Moldova’s presidential election is over, now the battle for the parliament begins
Moldova’s foreign policy reset
Russian establishment quick to congratulate Moldova's new president-elect
Rising COVID-19 cases put intense pressure on CEE healthcare systems
MEPs urge European Commission to act against Hungarian media financing in North Macedonia and Slovenia
North Macedonia mulls decriminalising cannabis to boost tourism
Retail surpass pre-crisis peak as Romanians shop instead of holiday
Romanian venture capital firm Catalyst launches new €40mn-50mn fund for TMT
Aegon to sell its CEE business to Vienna Insurance for €830mn
The state is back in business
Slovenian PM Jansa stands alongside Hungary and Poland in EU rule of law row
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Turkish number crunchers deliver November inflation surprise of 14%
Erdogan needs to go says analyst assessing Turkey’s economic collapse
Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict
In Karabakh deal, as many questions as answers
Protesters flood Yerevan demanding Armenia’s “traitor” PM quit over Nagorno-Karabakh surrender
Who emerge as the real winners from the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Below average 2020 wine production destined for volatile and uncertain global market
Iran calls on Saudis to limit $67bn defence spending to Tehran’s $10bn
Iranian prosecutors pledge to pursue Trump for Soleimani killing even after he leaves White House
No reaction from Kazakh elites as bombshell FT report says Nazarbayev’s son in law siphoned millions from pipeline scheme
UK court freezes $5bn in assets connected to fugitive Kazakh banker Ablyazov
Attack of the Debt Tsunami: global debt soars to a new all-time high
Kyrgyzstan's proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion
Kyrgyzstan's China debt: Between crowdfunding and austerity
CFC joins RWC in assessing KAZ Minerals buyout offer as under-valuation
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage
No surprises in Tajikistan as Rahmon retains presidency with 91% of vote
A Tajikistan poised on verge of economic calamity set for vote
Tajikistan revives on-off dispute with Iran
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
Turkmenistan: Everybody yurts, sometimes
Dirty money investigation reviews identified payments worth $1.4bn linked to Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan unveils extensive privatisation programme
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Russian internet major Yandex has called off the $5.5bn deal to acquire Russia’s only pure online bank and an investors darling, Tinkoff bank, Yandex said in a press release issued on October 16.
Yandex didn't explained the reason for the decision and only said the negotiations on acquiring and merging with banking TCS Group, that owns Tinkoff Bank, have been terminated, bringing an abrupt end to one of the biggest deals in Russia for years.
As reported by bne IntelliNews, in September Yandex in a bombshell announcement said it intends to acquire TCS for $5.5bn, which made both companies gain over $2bn in value as their stocks rallied on the news.
The decision follows reports carried by The Bell that the owner of TCS Group, famous serial entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov, was still in talks with other large Russian groups and rich investors on a potential sale. In particular a tie with Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) mobile major and operator of MTS Bank was mentioned as a possible buyer, The Bell reported on October 14 citing unnamed sources.
That deal appealed less to analysts as MTS Bank is a direct competitor with Tinkoff Bank, although MTS bank has been having a hard time during the crisis.
Tinkov has also reportedly been talking directly with Vladimir Yevtushenko, the founder of multi-industry investment conglomerate AFK Sistema, MTS’ ultimate beneficiary.
The Bell reported that Tinkov has been talking to dozens of potential investors over the last year and half.
Tinkov was diagnosed with leukaemia it was announced in March and has been stepping back from the day to day operations of many of his companies.
BCS Global Markets commented on October 16 that some investors were optimistic on the deal, and warned that Yandex shares could come under short-term pressure.
Still, the analysts at BCS GM note that "the synergies from the deal were not a given, as well as the deal itself," so the development is seen neutral for Yandex and TCS (Hold recommendation for both names).
As far as TCS is concerned, while BCS GM was "inspired by possible deal", the analysts acknowledge strong TCS standalone potential of building up the business further. The banking group is expected to deliver strong 3Q20 results, while unconfirmed reports suggested that TCS is looking for another buyer apart from Yandex.
Analysts at VTB Capital (VTBC) took the same line, saying it was a shame the deal would not go ahead but that both companies are strong and both have considerable potential to continue growing their own businesses separately.
“While we believed that this potential deal might have implied some optionality value for Yandex, we never built any valuation impact into our model, given the uncertainties and risks. Therefore, we take the announcement as neutral,: Vladimir Bespalov, an equities analyst with VTBC said in a note emailed to clients. “We remain positive on Yandex, with our 12month Target Price of $75 implying an ETR of 23%. We also tend to view any
potential decline in Yandex's stock on the back of the potential deal being terminated as an opportunity.”
Yandex will continue to look for fintech opportunities as Russia’s new economy has reached a critical mass and the leading companies are currently in the process of expanding and building up entire ecosystems through a string of acquisitions and investments. Yandex is battling it out with the other industry leaders Sberbank (now known simply as “Sber”) and Ozon, e-commerce player and online market place that plans to IPO in New York later this year.
“In our view, Yandex will continue to look into the development of Fintech, with potential options including other M&A deals, hiring Fintech professionals to develop expertise internally, and entering into partnerships with existing market players. Yandex might also seek to deploy the capital, which was initially earmarked for the deal with TCS Group in order to grow its business more aggressively in the areas of its core expertise. Overall, we still see Yandex's longterm prospects as attractive, which supports our positive view on the stock,” Bespalov said.
Notably, as covered by bne IntelliNews, Yandex is venturing into the financial services terrain, stepping up the competition with the Sber ecosystem of its former ally state-controlled bank Sberbank. Thus, on Yandex side another large potential acquisition in the fintech sector is also possible in the nearest future.
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