International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has stripped Belarus of the right to hold the World Championship this year
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny arrested on arrival as he returns home
LONG READ: The oligarch problem
COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Russian opposition activist Navalny calls for supporters to take to the streets this weekend
One of Russia’s biggest wood product companies, Segezha could be Sistema’s next IPO
Oligarchs trying to derail Ukraine’s privatisation programme, warns the head of Ukraine’s State Property Fund
New Ukrainian VC firm QPDigital aims to invest up to $100 million in digital startups
VISEGRAD BLOG: Central Europe's populists need a new strategy for Biden
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
OUTLOOK 2021 Hungary
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
BALKAN BLOG: US approach to switch from quick-fix dealmaking to experience and cooperation
Corona-induced slump in global clothing sector dragged down Albania’s 2020 exports
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Heavy flooding causes chaos in parts of Southeast Europe
Turnover rose on Bosnia's two stock exchanges in 2020 while prices fell
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
Bulgaria’s government considers gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING THINK: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Zagreb Stock Exchange's Crobex10 index at highest level since March 5
OUTLOOK 2021 Kosovo
Arrera Automobili aims to launch Albania’s first supercar
OUTLOOK 2021 Moldova
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Moldova’s PM resigns to prepare the ground for early elections
Montenegrins say state administration is most corrupt institution
75% of Montenegrins want EU membership
Montenegro’s new ruling coalition carves up top state jobs
North Macedonia's manufacturing confidence indicator down by 8.5 pp y/y in December
OUTLOOK 2021 North Macedonia
OUTLOOK 2021 Romania
Romania’s central bank cuts monetary policy rate by 25bp to 1.25%
Romanian construction companies' activity slows in November after intense 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Serbia
Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
Slovenia’s government to release funds to news agency STA after EU pressure
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Slovenia’s dire COVID-19 situation in 4Q20 caused second economic dip
ISTANBUL BLOG: Biden must find a way to work with Trump’s strongman pal Erdogan
Turkcell denies any affiliation with $1.6bn loan in default extended by Ziraat Bank to Virgin Islands company
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Let’s tentatively pencil in a date for Turkey’s hot money outflow
CAUCASUS BLOG : What can Biden offer the Caucasus and Stans, all but forgotten about by Trump?
Armenia ‘to extend life of its 1970s Metsamor nuclear power plant after 2026’
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Georgia’s political kingpin Bidzina Ivanishvili quits politics
TEHRAN BLOG: Will Biden bet on a quick return to the Iran nuclear deal?
Tehran Stock Exchange chief quits amid “Black Monday” fury
Durov rejects Western funds’ offer to buy 5%-10% of Telegram with $30bn valuation
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
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
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
Download the pdf version
Yandex.Taxi, the ride-hailing arm of Russian online giant Yandex, is pushing ahead with its plans to organise its highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO), while struggling to remain profitable amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Earlier this month, Yandex.Taxi CEO Tigran Khudaverdyan was quoted by The Bell as saying that the company has not abandoned plans to go for an IPO but, given the current coronavirus restrictions, this is not a priority. He did not provide any timeline for the mooted IPO, which was originally expected in 2020.
The news about Yandex.Taxi's IPO plans first broke last November, when the company reportedly hired three investment banks for the purpose. However, the coronavirus outbreak has put many market events, including Yandex.Taxi's IPO plans, on hold.
Currently, Yandex.Taxi, which merged with Uber Technologies in 2017 in a deal that gave Uber a 36.6% stake in the combined company, remains the largest Russian company slated for an IPO.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, Sberbank CIB had predicted that the Russian taxi market would grow by 35-40% in 2020, but the forecast was later revised to a much more modest 7%. Still, according to the forecast, Yandex.Taxi would be still able to beat the market with a 12% increase in traffic.
In the January-March period, Yandex' revenues in the taxi segment dropped by 50%, according to the company's IFRS report, while the segment's overall prospects are unclear due to the ongoing restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Still, the company itself remains optimistic and said last month that it hopes to post a profit in 2020. Yandex.Taxi has been losing money for years while it focused on low prices to establish a market share. However, the strategy changed last year, as it is now the dominant service and the company went into profit as prices rose. Those profits are clearly going to be hit by the impact of the stop-shock this year.
In January-March, the taxi business accounted for almost 25% of Yandex' revenue, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) returning a profit for the fourth consecutive quarter.
The lockdown takes its toll
Russia's taxi segment has been hit hard by the sharp decline in demand for taxi due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, which was introduced on a national scale in late March, while restrictions are anticipated to stay in place – in one form or another – for a long time.
In April, Yandex.Taxi’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) in Moscow dropped by 60% year on year, and by 70% month on month, Daniil Shuleiko, general director of Yandex.Taxi, said during a conference call in late April.
"We started seeing a slowdown in the second part of March due to fears of the spread of COVID-19," he said. "As a result, if in early March we were seeing almost 5mn rides per day, towards the end of March this number decreased significantly."
If the GMV in the second quarter falls by 60%, Yandex.Taxi will report a negative Ebitda, but a fall of 40% would see a breakeven, the company forecasted.
"I do not have an exact forecast, but we expect some recovery in the third and fourth quarters ... If we compare the second half of 2020 with the first half, we expect that the taxi service will be profitable,” Evgeniy Senderov, Yandex.Taxi’s finance director, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
"We are in good shape to get through the current situation, we have strong balance sheet," he went on to say.
Meanwhile, in a bid to ease the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on its business, Yandex.Taxi has been able to negotiate "leasing holidays" for its partner taxi companies, Vedomosti reported.
According to the report, all taxi companies connected to Yandex.Taxi will be able to cut their leasing payments by 50% to 80% for a period of up to three months. Other support measures include delays in leasing payments and cancellation of late payment fees.
Vezet deal scrapped
In late March, Yandex.Taxi put a brake on the acquisition of another taxi company, Vezet.
As profiled by bne IntelliNews in February 2019 before the deals were announced, Vezet is one of Russia’s biggest regional taxi players and would have strengthened Yandex.Taxi’s business to the east of the Ural Mountains.
In late 2019, Yandex planned to snap up Vezet from its rival Mail.ru in a deal that would have included 3.6% equity and $71.5mn in cash. With a market share of about 12%, Vezet was expected to significantly strengthen Yandex.Taxi's position.
It was not clear whether the cancellation of the deal was linked to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and ensuing lockdown measures.
Vezet was established in 2017 in a merger of Fasten Russia, Saturn, Red Taxi, RuTaxi, Lider and Vezet operators. The company operates in over 100 cities in Russia, Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic, processing over 1mn orders a day.
In 2017 the group had 12.3% of the Russian taxi market, which was larger than the 10.4% joint share of Yandex.Taxi and Uber prior to their merger of regional operations.
This article is part of bne IntelliNews coverage of technology, blockchain, fintech, cryptocurrencies and the new economy. Sign up for the free monthly newsletter bneTech here, or read more tech stories on the website here.
Read the latest issue of bneTech here
Sign up for free here
bne’s tech section online
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: