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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MTS Sets Its Sights on CIS Growth

Mobile TeleSystems is actively pursuing acquisitions among countries in the former Soviet Union to sustain growth beyond the saturated Russian market, the company's CEO said Thursday.

"We have to take up the challenge of globalization of the telecommunications market and remain competitive,'' CEO Leonid Melamed said. "We are going to study the possibility of non-organic growth, primarily in the CIS."

MTS, which has more than 51 million subscribers in Russia and about 25 million more in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Belarus, is looking at new regions with low penetration and rising incomes.

While Melamed declined to name particular targets, he said MTS was actively looking to either buy assets or start new operations in all countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.