NASDAQ welcomes Yandex

Yandex, Russia’s biggest Internet company, is due to begin trading on NASDAQ today (as YNDX) after raising an impressive $1.3 billion in an initial public offering.

The IPO, which put Yandex’s value at $8 billion, was the biggest in the sector since Google went public in 2004 and was buoyed by LinkedIn’s supersuccessful debut last week.

Russia is one of the few markets where Google doesn’t rule. According to Yandex, the search engine generates 64 percent of search traffic in Russia. It also has additional services like Google, including a maps, news and weather section. Yandex has grown on the back of online advertising, one of the few sectors that didn’t fall during the disastrous financial crisis.

A source told Reuters that Yandex and its shareholders sold 52.2 million shares for $25 each, after originally planning to sell them at $20 to $22 each. According to Vedomosti, the order book was oversubscribed by 15 times. Up, up and away.