Correspondent, New York
Megan's Feed
Apr 6, 2013

Russia slams expansion of U.N. Syria chemical arms probe

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia criticized Western moves to expand a planned United Nations probe into chemical weapons in Syria and compared it to the build-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Russia, which has used its clout as a veto-wielding Security Council state to blunt Western pressure on Syria, says the U.N. probe announced last month should focus on Syrian government allegations rebels used chemical arms near Aleppo.

Apr 4, 2013

Analysis: Fridman seemingly at war with himself in Tele2 battle

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Investors may be puzzled why billionaire Mikhail Fridman seemed to be bidding against himself for a telecoms company that is no longer for sale.

Fridman is linked with two bids for the Russian unit of Nordic operator Tele2 – one from his A1 vehicle and the other, at a higher price, from MTS and Vimpelcom, in which he is a leading investor.

Apr 4, 2013

Fridman seemingly at war with himself in Tele2 battle

MOSCOW, April 4 (Reuters) – Investors may be puzzled why
billionaire Mikhail Fridman seemed to be bidding against himself
for a telecoms company that is no longer for sale.

Fridman is linked with two bids for the Russian unit of
Nordic operator Tele2 – one from his A1 vehicle and
the other, at a higher price, from MTS and Vimpelcom
, in which he is a leading investor.

Apr 2, 2013

Tele2 defends Russia deal as rival bidders circle

STOCKHOLM/MOSCOW, April 2 (Reuters) – Nordic telecom
operator Tele2 defended a decision to sell its
Russian unit for $3.5 billion and spurn a higher offer from one
of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen.

The deal with state-controlled bank VTB was
followed swiftly by counterbids from groups associated with
tycoon Mikhail Fridman, but Tele2 said the deal was already
done, prompting speculation that the Kremlin may have dictated
proceedings.

Apr 1, 2013

Russia’s MTS urges Tele2 to start talks over $4.25 billion offer

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s top mobile operator MTS (MBT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday urged Tele2 (TEL2b.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to start talks over the Nordic operator’s Russian asset after making a bid of up to $4.25 billion, and said it was strange for management to ignore such an offer.

MTS joined with rival Vimpelcom Ltd (VIP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), part-owned by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, to bid for Tele2′s Russian unit on Thursday, topping a lower bid by Fridman’s A1 investment group and an agreed deal with state-controlled bank VTB (VTBR.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Mar 28, 2013

Russian bidders offer up to $4.25 billion for Tele2 assets

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian mobile companies MTS (MBT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Vimpelcom Ltd (VIP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) joined the bidders for Tele2 AB’s (TEL2b.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Russian unit on Thursday, rivaling a proposal by billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s A1 investment group and an agreed deal with VTB Bank OAO (VTBR.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

MTS and Vimpelcom are offering to buy the asset for $4.0 billion to $4.25 billion, including $1.15 billion of net debt, they said late on Thursday, claiming their bid was at a premium of up to 30 percent over the agreed deal with VTB.

Mar 28, 2013

Russia’s Fridman may spark Tele2 bid battle

MOSCOW/STOCKHOLM, March 28 (Reuters) – Russian billionaire
Mikhail Fridman is ready to trump state bank VTB’s
deal to buy Tele2′s Russian division and is
considering an offer for the whole of the Nordic telecoms group.

Fridman’s investment partnership A1 said on Thursday it was
prepared to make an all-cash bid of $3.6-$4 billion for Tele2′s
Russian arm, which would top an agreed sale to VTB that puts an
enterprise value, or equity plus debt, on the business of $3.5
billion.

Mar 27, 2013

Sweden’s Tele2 exits Russian mobile market

STOCKHOLM/MOSCOW, March 27 (Reuters) – Nordic telecoms
company Tele2 said on Wednesday it would sell its
Russian operations to bank VTB Group in a $3.5 billion
deal that could ease competition in the market.

Tele2 has been rumoured for some time to be considering a
sale of the Russian unit as it does not have a 3G or 4G license
in Russia and analysts have said that without the ability to
offer data services, its growth prospects were limited.

Mar 26, 2013

Russians consider lawsuits over Cyprus losses

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian businesses and banks that face losses from the European Union’s bailout of Cyprus are considering legal action but may have a hard time making a case, say lawyers who are combing through treaties find strategies to recover funds.

Big depositors – many of them Russian – face losses of up to 40 percent as the result of a so-called ‘bail-in’ to back 10 billion euros ($13 billion) in EU financial aid to stabilize the Cypriot banking system.

Mar 18, 2013

Cyprus starts to lose its appeal for wealthy Russians

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russians responded angrily on Monday to the threat of a levy on bank deposits in Cyprus that could end the Mediterranean island’s appeal as a safe haven for their money and cost them billions of euros.

Russians have stashed away huge sums in Cyprus since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, making the most of low taxes and light regulation to keep their money safe and, in some cases, to launder it.