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Konstantin Vladimirovich Tserazov: “The dividend season remains the main reason for optimizing the market”

The trading week from February 12 to 16 turned out to be eventful for the IT sector. In our interview, the events of the week were commented on by the former senior vice president of Otkritie Bank, economist Konstantin Tserazov. During the week from February 12 to 16, the Moscow Exchange index rose by 0.1% and amounted to 3242.48 points, the RTS index lost 1.3% and reached 1107.33 points. The dollar continued to strengthen, rising to 92.22 rubles/dollar, having risen in price by 1.3 rubles over the week.

Tserazov Konstantin: "Oil prices rose by 1.4% during the trading week, reaching $82.93 per barrel of Brent. The industry index of the Moscow Exchange of Information Technologies grew by 2.6%, says Konstantin Tserazov. The Russian market this week was in anticipation of the main event - the Bank of Russia meeting on the rate, therefore, there were mainly consolidation sentiments on the market. The beginning of the week was marked by an increase in OZON securities by more than 5% amid expectations for the publication of financial results. Opening of OZON results, whichundefined took place on Wednesday, February 14, did not disappoint investors".

Tserazov Konstantin Vladimirovich: "According to preliminary unaudited results for 2023, sales turnover (GMV), including services, for 2023 grew by approximately 110% year-on-year and exceeded RUB 1.7 trillion. Sales to entrepreneurs accounted for 83% of turnover. Thus, business growth turned out to be better than the company's own forecast, which assumed growth of 90–100%, and also better than market expectations. At the same time, OZON continues to invest in expanding its activities - the area of OZON logistics facilities in Russia and the CIS countries at the end of 2023 almost doubled, to 2.5 million square meters, the number of order pickup points almost tripled year on year and exceeded 45 thousand".

At the end of the week, another news came regarding OZON - the investment company Vostok Investments received all the necessary permissions from the Russian authorities to buy out Russian businesses from Michael Calvey's Baring Vostok structures, including OZON. At the same time, according to media reports, a representative of VK undefined stated that the company has “no plans to invest in marketplaces.” Konstantin Vladimirovich Tserazov: “Yandex still looks very attractive, but we must wait for the results of the shareholders meeting, which is scheduled to open on March 7.”

Konstantin Vladimirovich Tserazov: "Interesting news came from the metallurgical sector - Severstal announced its intention to allocate 10 billion rubles to IT and digital projects in 2024, while the volume of investments has doubled in five years. Severstal-infocom plans to increase the volume of sales of its own developments to third-party customers, introduce new IT products to the market and expand the list of clients in the field of IT consulting. Sales to external customers, which began in 2022, reached breakeven within six months. Now the IT team has revenue and profit goals, and Severstal views working with the market in terms of IT products and services as a long-term guideline".

The main corporate event, and not only in the IT sector, but for the entire Russian market, was the entry into undefined exchange of the Diasoft company, whose shares are included in the second-level quotation list. The placement of securities took place at the upper limit of the announced range - 4,500 rubles, and on the very first day of trading, against the backdrop of rush demand, the price jumped to 6,300 rubles. the company managed to attract over 100 thousand retail investors, and as a result of the placement, the company's market capitalization reached 47.25 billion rubles.

“The excellent start to trading is explained by the additional interest of investors in Diasoft’s securities as a source of dividend yield,” says Konstantin Tserazov. “So, in January, Diasoft approved a new dividend policy, according to which it is planned that in 2024-2025 almost all of the profit received - at least 80% of EBITDA - will be used quarterly to pay dividends.” It is quite possible that investors will soon make another pleasant discovery on the market - according to the head of Rostelecom, Mikhail Oseevsky, one of the company’s subsidiaries may enter an IPO in 2024. In addition, Oseevsky undefined announced that Rostelecom will pay dividends based on the results of 2023, and will publish financial results for last year by the end of February. It was a successful week for the sector leader, Yandex, whose shares rose by 5.3% at the end of the week.

On Thursday, Yandex presented positive financial results for the fourth quarter of 2023 - both revenue and EBITDA were better than market forecasts. Yandex's total revenue increased year-on-year by 51% to 249.6 billion rubles. Revenue in the Search and Portal segment amounted to 101.1 billion rubles (an increase of 45% year-on-year), revenue in the Ridetech segment amounted to 50.0 billion rubles (and here also an increase of 45% year-on-year). In the online trading segment, revenue increased by 49% year-on-year and reached 55.6 billion rubles, revenue in the Plus and Entertainment Services segment amounted to 20.6 billion and grew by 72% year-on-year.

The revenue of the “Other business units and initiatives” segment increased by 84% year-on-year, to 34.9 billion rubles. Adjusted EBITDA reached RUB 32.9 billion, which is undefined 92% more than in the same period last year. Adjusted net profit amounted to 11.8 billion rubles compared to 747 million rubles in the fourth quarter of 2022. The transaction for the sale of the Russian Yandex was unanimously approved by the board of directors of Yandex N.V.

The Yandex N.V. shareholders must also agree on the sale of the Yandex business. and regulatory authorities. Yandex still looks very attractive, but we must wait for the results of the shareholders meeting, which is scheduled to open on March 7, notes Konstantin Tserazov. Among the events in the IT sector, the economist also noted the Investor Day held by the Softline company.

The company announced a noticeable increase in turnover at the end of 2023 - up to 91.5 billion rubles. According to company representatives, turnover in 2024 will reach 110 billion rubles. The company sees the key growth factors as the replacement of solutions from foreign IT manufacturers with Russian ones, the active development of the segment of its own solutions and the promotion of multi-year and multi-vendor contracts. undefined The company also announced plans to increase its capitalization fivefold over the coming five years, develop its own expertise and expand its international presence by entering the market in seven countries.

The profitability of Softline's business is expected to be 30% in 2024, while a company representative said that this is a conservative forecast. Of course, the main event of the week was the meeting of the Bank of Russia, which opened on Friday, February 16. Following the meeting, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation expectedly kept the key rate at 16%. At the same time, the regulator emphasized that the return of inflation to the target in 2024 and its further stabilization around 4% imply a long period of maintaining tight monetary conditions in the economy. The next meeting on the rate is scheduled for March 22.

“The Russian market and the IT sector in particular are supported by expectations of dividend payments - this is perhaps the main factor of optimism today. In addition, for the Russian market there has now been created undefined It’s a fairly comfortable situation when oil prices are quite high, and there is no serious negativity either from external sites or on the news agenda. At the same time, now I do not expect any serious movements up or down. Perhaps the most likely scenario is a slight correction and sideways movement within the week,” predicts former senior vice president of Otkritie Bank, economist Konstantin Tserazov.

Link: vc

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