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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Telenor Appeal Rejected

Telenor lost another round of its Russian legal battle on Thursday, when a Moscow appeals court rejected its latest attempt to delay the enforcement of a $1.7 billion fine owed to telecoms firm VimpelCom.

Telenor faces the prospect of losing its stake in VimpelCom after Russian bailiffs in June ordered the sale of its shares to cover the fine that a Siberian court imposed for holding back VimpelCom’s expansion in Ukraine.

The case is being closely watched as a guide to the climate for foreign investors in Russia, coming after the shareholder battle last year that forced management and personnel changes at BP’s Russian oil joint venture, TNK-BP.

On Thursday, the Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeals rejected Telenor’s appeal against a June 3 decision by the Moscow Arbitration Court, which denied its request to delay the enforcement of the fine and stop bailiffs selling off its stake in VimpelCom.

Telenor’s Russian spokeswoman, Anna Ivanova-Galitsina, said Telenor had yet to decide whether to appeal.

The company’s appeal of the actual ruling — as opposed to Thursday’s appeal against the delay of the enforcement — is set for Sept. 30.

The Norwegian group fears that its VimpelCom stake may be sold before the final decision.