Airbnb Shares Drop As It Closes Doors In Russia, Belarus

Airbnb (Nasdaq: ABNB) became the latest company to boycott Russia amid the escalating conflict in Ukraine. CEO Brian Chesky tweeted on Thursday that the firm is suspending its operations in Russia and Belarus.

In a statement to CNBC, an Airbnb spokesperson said that this policy would mean blocking the acceptance of new bookings in said countries “until further notice.” Users in both countries will also be restricted to make reservations.

Following the announcement, however, the company’s shares fell as much as 6.7% as the markets opened today.

The lodging firm initially said that it is working with its hosts in nearby European countries to provide free stay for Ukrainian refugees. It has also launched a donation drive to help cover the cost of temporary accommodations.

On top of this, Chesky retweeted the growing initiative to book Airbnb places in Ukraine without the intention of staying in it just to channel donations to Ukrainian locals.

For this initiative, Chesky maintained that the firm has waived its usual cut from the fees, so the entire proceeds from the bookings go to the host.

While Russia is seen as the main actor in the invasion of Ukraine, Belarus is being viewed as a co-belligerent of the former Soviet power. President Alexander Lukashenko has publicly maintained its neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, Russian troops were able to enter Ukraine through the latter’s shared border with Belarus. Lukashenko also announced that he is moving more of his country’s military forces towards its Ukrainian border.

The country hosted the first round of the negotiation talks between Russia and Ukraine, which so far has not led to an agreement of ceasefire or invasion pull out.

In February 2022, the company released its 2021 financials, highlighting an annual revenue of US$5.99 billion.

Airbnb last traded at US$151.75 on the Nasdaq.

Information for this briefing was found via CNBC and the companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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