Telenor Sees No VimpelCom Stake Sale

Telenor said Tuesday that it would not reduce its stake in VimpelCom despite a dispute with partner Alfa Group. "VimpelCom is a very good company. ... We are not considering selling our stake in VimpelCom, as we are in Russia for the long term," said Kjell-Morten Johnsen, head of Telenor Russia.

On Monday, a source said Telenor and Alfa were close to an asset swap deal, through which Telenor could hand over 12 percent of voting shares in VimpelCom to Alfa in exchange for Alfa's entire stake in their other venture, Ukraine's Kyivstar.

Johnsen said he saw no reason why Telenor should lower its stake in VimpelCom significantly, even in exchange for 100 percent control of Kyivstar, Ukraine's biggest mobile operator.

"We are ready to discuss buying out Alfa Group's stake in Kyivstar, also for cash. But if Alfa's representatives start showing up at shareholders' and board meetings, we don't mind staying with them in Kyivstar."