25 Jan 2019 11:20

Yandex mulling dividends as well as buyback

DAVOS. Jan 25 (Interfax) - Yandex is not ruling out the possibility of dividends, an issue to which it returns every so often, the Russian internet company's COO, Greg Abovsky, told Interfax on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"We are thinking about this, we consider it from time to time," he said.

Yandex does not pay dividends, but it has bought back shares twice since holding its IPO on the Nasdaq in 2011. The company bought back 4.5 million shares in Q3 2018, allocating $141 million.

Abovsky said investment in business was an alternative to dividends and share buybacks. "There are three obvious alternatives: acquisitions, which we do quite rarely, preferring to grow companies ourselves or buy them at an earlier stage in their development such as FoodFox or Food Party; dividends or a buyback," Abovsky said.

All three options are possible if the company is not investing in a new project. "We do have new projects, but they are not so large that they require all of our cash reserves," he said.

Yandex's co-owners and original employees, including CEO Arkady Volozh, have a 57% voting stake in the company.