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Yandex And Sberbank Announce Joint Venture For Electronic-Money Solutions

MOSCOW and THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Dec. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yandex and Sberbank of Russia today announced a strategic partnership in the area of e-money, through the establishment of a joint venture on the Yandex.Money platform. Yandex and Sberbank plan to be at the forefront of developing innovative online retail payment solutions by combining Sberbank's banking expertise and Yandex's internet technologies.

Sberbank and Yandex will form a joint venture through the acquisition by Sberbank of a 75% interest in the charter capital of Yandex.Money for $60M, with Yandex retaining a blocking interest in the JV (25% plus one ruble). Evgenia Zavalishina, Yandex.Money's current CEO, will head the JV. The JV's board of directors will include two representatives of Yandex – Evgenia Zavalishina and the company's CEO Arkady Volozh, joined by three members representing Sberbank of Russia - Alexandr Torbakhov, Denis Bugrov and Viktor Orlovskiy.

Developer teams of Yandex.Money and Sberbank have already started together on planning new projects. New products will leverage existing Yandex.Money technologies and will be released under the Yandex.Money brand. Yandex.Money users will remain customers of the existing legal entity Yandex.Money, a non-banking credit organization operating under a license issued by the Central Bank of Russia.

"Expanding our presence in the digital world and developing online solutions is one of our operational priorities. In Yandex, we have found the optimal partner to significantly strengthen our position in the fast growing market of electronic commerce and internet payments," said Herman Gref, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Sberbank. "Yandex.Money products have become an industry standard for electronic payments in the Russian. We are investing not just in internet technology, but rather in an independent profitable business which is keen to considerably expand its customer base."

"The universe of online payments is changing at an extremely rapid pace and the potential for electronic payments extends far beyond the internet. We have long been looking for a partnership in finance to help drive our business to a new level. But this opportunity has been considered only in the context of a joint development of our service. We are very happy that Sberbank has become our partner," said Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex.

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