Correspondent, New York
Megan's Feed
Apr 18, 2013

Foreign investors find Russia’s promise unfulfilled

MOSCOW, April 18 (Reuters) – Foreign investors weary of
unfulfilled reform promises under Vladimir Putin have been
fleeing Russia-focused funds this year, clouding prospects for
the country’s fragile equity markets.

So far this year, $1.2 billion has been pulled from
Russia-focused equity funds – 8 percent of estimated
Russia-dedicated assets – on concern over a slowing economy,
Russia’s exposure to falling commodity prices and a lack of
progress on reforms to make a murky business environment more
transparent.

Apr 18, 2013

Minority TNK-BP investor urges Rosneft to back big dividend

MOSCOW, April 18 (Reuters) – Veteran emerging markets
investor Mark Mobius urged Russian oil company Rosneft
on Thursday to issue “a nice fat dividend” to ensure minority
shareholders in recently acquired TNK-BP are treated
fairly.

Mobius, whose emerging markets group has shares in TNK-BP,
made his comments one day after a meeting between Rosneft chief
executive Igor Sechin and investors at which the state-owned
company said the possibility of buying out minority investors -
who hold around 5 percent of TNK-BP Holding – was not discussed.

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.