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Russia supports regulator’s claim on Telenor
03 May 2012
Russian government backs competition regulator’s attempt to overturn Telenor’s stake increase in VimpelCom
Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, the country’s competition regulator, said the government’s commission for monitoring foreign investment has supported its attempt to overturn Telenor’s recent increase of its stake in operator VimpelCom, reports Reuters.
Norwegian operator Telenor raised its voting stake in VimpelCom in February through a deal with Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris’s Weather Investments, which saw Telenor regaining partial control of VimpelCom from Altimo.
FAS filed a lawsuit against Telenor in a Moscow arbitration court in April, claiming the deal breached the Russian strategic investment law, which governs foreign investments in companies that are strategically important to the state.
The Moscow arbitration court barred Telenor from voting with its VimpelCom shares to change the composition of its board and exercising its option to acquire more shares.
Igor Artemyev, head of FAS, told Reuters that Telenor’s purchase of a stake “was done without permission of the foreign investment commission. Today we have got full support of our actions, in particular [our] appeal to court.”
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin — who takes office as president on May 7 — chairs the government commission on monitoring foreign investment, which controls foreign investment in Russian companies. GTB
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