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  • Nov. 3, 2015, 10:09 AM
    | Nov. 3, 2015, 10:09 AM
  • Nov. 2, 2015, 2:15 PM
    • Following the ouster of its chairman, Norway's Telenor (OTCPK:TELNY +0.5%) says it's hired a law firm for an independent investigation of its dealings with VimpelCom's (VIP -2.8%) entry to the Uzbekistan market.
    • Telenor owns a third of VimpelCom, the Amsterdam-based telecom with service focused on the Russian market. VimpelCom's under investigation in the Netherlands and the U.S. over possible improper payments related to spectrum acquisition in the Uzbek market.
    • Telenor had said last month it planned to divest its VimpelCom stake, after a review by new CEO Sigve Brekke, who took over in August. The fallout from the affair led Norway's Industry Minister to lose confidence in Chairman Svein Aaser, who resigned Friday.
    | Nov. 2, 2015, 2:15 PM
  • Oct. 30, 2015, 11:49 AM
    | Oct. 30, 2015, 11:49 AM
  • Oct. 22, 2015, 3:16 PM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) has moved up sharply during the past hour to its intraday peak, up 7.3% in a rebound after overnight reports that it's hired UBS, Merrill Lynch and TAP Advisors to help it explore strategic options including a $5B sale of a cell tower portfolio.
    • The company is shopping about 50,000 towers in Russia and former Soviet republics, Bloomberg reported.
    • VimpelCom could create a holding company with a partner instead, sources said. Its Wind unit in Italy agreed to sell a stake in its towers to Abertis for $784M.
    • The company is pursuing cost reduction as it looks to boost cash flow, and a global trend of towers divestment could help there. “We continue to monitor trends in the global telecoms market and looking at effective business models for tower infrastructure, which help reduce costs and construction time, aid geographical expansion and increase quality for consumers at an attractive price,” the company says.
    | Oct. 22, 2015, 3:16 PM
  • Oct. 14, 2015, 10:39 AM
    • Moody's is raising its outlook for Europe's telecoms to stable as it predicts a return to revenue growth overall, amid growing consumer demand and spending capacity, and price increases.
    • The firm expects revenues overall to grow by 1-2% over the next 12-18 months.
    • "Increasing demand for broadband, improved consumer spending capacity and a change in focus from price competition to service quality leading to price increases will underpin European telecommunications service providers' return to revenue growth in 2016," says Moody's analyst Carlos Winzer.
    • He pointed to Telefonica (TEF -1.6%), whose ARPU was up sequentially to €71.80/month from €68.80/month and who's rolling out premium packages at premium prices. Moody's expects positive ARPU for Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) amid similar premium pricing.
    • Despite a stable outlook on the Africa, Middle East and Turkish markets, slowing GDP in some countries (including Nigeria and those on the Arabian peninsula) could press revenue growth.
    • The outlook on Russia's big three, however -- Mobile TeleSystems (MBT +2.1%), MegaFon (OTC:MFOYY) and VimpelCom (VIP +0.8%) -- stays negative amid the Russian economic crisis.
    | Oct. 14, 2015, 10:39 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 5, 2015, 10:26 AM
    • In a strategic shift, Norway's Telenor (OTCPK:TELNY +2.5%) is divesting its "challenging" multibillion-dollar stake in Russia telecom provider VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP)
    • VimpelCom ADRs were up 2.7% in the early going in U.S. trading.
    • Telenor has a 33% stake in VimpelCom that is worth more than $2.4B. “The VimpelCom asset, where Telenor holds a minority position without the possibility to fully control the company, has been challenging,“ says its chairman, Svein Aaser.
    • The probes in the U.S. and the Netherlands into possible bribery at VimpelCom have raised controversy in Norway over Telenor's holding.
    • The sale could take some time, and Telenor says it's expecting a related noncash impairment of 7.5B Norwegian krone (about $900M) against Q3 earnings.
    • Previously: U.S. telecom probe seeking to seize $1B in European assets (Aug. 13 2015)
    | Oct. 5, 2015, 10:26 AM
  • Sep. 23, 2015, 5:54 PM
    • Italy's government won't stand in the way of the merger between VimpelCom's (NASDAQ:VIP) Wind Telecomunicazioni and Hutchison's (OTCPK:HUWHY) Three Italia, it said in agreeing not to exercise a veto right.
    • It is asking the companies for more information about the combination and its plans as regards national security and service continuity, however.
    • The €21.8B deal still requires regulatory approvals -- including from a newly tough regime led by Europe's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The merger has more likelihood of success, with three roughly equal players remaining in the Italian market, than the recent aborted tie-up in Denmark between Telenor and TeliaSonera.
    • Previously: VimpelCom up 3.8% as it forges $24B Italy merger with Hutchison (Aug. 06 2015)
    | Sep. 23, 2015, 5:54 PM
  • Sep. 23, 2015, 5:04 PM
    • Russia is set to auction 1800-MHz wireless airwaves next week, and has processed applications for the country's four main mobile operators to participate.
    • Mobile TeleSystems (MBT -2.1%), VimpelCom (VIP -1.5%), Megafon (OTC:MFOYY) and Tele2 (OTCPK:TLTZY) are certified to take part in the electronic auction. Russia is selling spectrum in nine regions.
    • While the band was previously set aside for voice communication, there are no restrictions on usage of airwaves won in the auction, and the country's Roscomnadzor regulator expects winners will put LTE to work in the band.
    | Sep. 23, 2015, 5:04 PM
  • Sep. 1, 2015, 1:36 PM
    • Subscribers to Russia's mobile telecoms services rose in Q2, rebounding from a decline in the first quarter.
    • Totals came to 242.33M mobile subscriptions, up from 238.35M the quarter before. Market penetration came to 169.6%, up sequentially from 166.8%, as Russia's population is about 146.3M.
    • Mobile TeleSystems  (MBT -4.3%) led Russian subscriber totals, with 75.39M, up from 74.5M. Megafon (OTC:MFOYY) came in with 71.4M, up from 69.52M; VimpelCom (VIP -3%) logged 57.17M compared to Q1's 55.71M; and Tele2 Russia (OTCPK:TLTZY) with 34.7M subscribers shrank from Q1's 34.9M.
    • Breakdown of market share in Russia: MTS, 31%; Megafon, 29%; VimpelCom, 24%; Tele2 Russia, 14%.
    • Counting subscribers across multiple countries, VimpelCom (with an additional footprint in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan) passes MTS in overall subscribers, with 109.27M to Mobile TeleSystems' 105.33M and Megafon's 73.85M.
    | Sep. 1, 2015, 1:36 PM
  • Aug. 13, 2015, 6:28 PM
    • U.S. prosecutors are pursuing the seizure of $1B in assets tied to a criminal corruption probe of Uzbekistan, to which they've linked foreign telecoms VimpelCom (VIP -1.9%), Mobile TeleSystems (MBT -2.5%) and TeliaSonera (OTCPK:TLSNY +1.4%).
    • Authorities think the firms (based in the Netherlands, Russia and Sweden respectively) sent hundreds of millions of dollars to business controlled by Gulnara Karimova, daughter to Uzbek President Islam Karimov, to secure wireless spectrum there.
    • The U.S. is asking European banks to assist in grabbing the funds, part of a recently more aggressive push against foreign corruption by the U.S. -- which has jurisdiction with regard to VimpelCom and MTS since they trade on U.S. exchanges.
    • TeliaSonera delisted about 10 years ago, but could be involved if its deals used the U.S. financial system. Its CEO Lars Nyberg resigned in 2013 amid criticism of the company's Uzbekistan investment.
    • Earlier this year in the same probe, the U.S. pursued seizing some $300M in accounts in Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg. Authorities think Gulnara Karimova is the beneficial owner of the $1B they're seeking.
    | Aug. 13, 2015, 6:28 PM | 4 Comments
  • Aug. 6, 2015, 9:47 AM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is up 3.8% after the company finally came to agreement to merge its Italy unit, Wind Telecomunicazioni, with Hutchison's (OTCPK:HUWHY) Three Italia, in a €21.8B deal (about $24B), creating a telecom carrier that would surpass Telecom Italia (TI -1.9%) as Italy's leader in total customers, with more than 31M.
    • The talks -- in progress for well over a year -- result in a 50/50 venture where Wind's CEO Maximo Ibarra will keep his role while Three's COO Dina Ravera will oversee integration. Each firm will nominate three board members to a six-member board.
    • The deal values Wind at €13.9B and Three at €7.9B. An IPO for the JV was reported to be considered earlier, though VimpelCom CEO Jean-Yves Charlier says they haven't discussed one.
    • The transaction requires antitrust approval from Europe, but Italy is late to the consolidation game, as countries like Germany, Ireland and Austria had previously gone from four carriers to three.
    • The companies say the deal will deliver cost savings of more than €5B, mainly from combining the mobile networks.
    • VimpelCom also posted Q2 results where its Q2 revenues narrowly beat expectations despite a 26% drop.
    | Aug. 6, 2015, 9:47 AM
  • Aug. 6, 2015, 5:38 AM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP): Q2 EPS of $0.06 misses by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $3.76B (-25.8% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
    | Aug. 6, 2015, 5:38 AM
  • Jul. 29, 2015, 5:44 PM
    | Jul. 29, 2015, 5:44 PM
  • Jul. 9, 2015, 11:27 AM
    • Russian telecom VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is leading the Nasdaq 100 gainers, +5.8% and largely making up heavy losses yesterday.
    • While most analysts advocate Hold ratings on the shares, consensus price target of $5.56 implies 14% upside from here.
    • The stock had managed to swim against peers in pulling off a Tuesday gain before sinking in the postmarket that day.
    • Also rebounding strong today: competitor Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT), up 4.4%.
    • Previously: VimpelCom among top postmarket decliners, down 3.7% (Jul. 07 2015)
    • Previously: VimpelCom Zimbabwe unit cutting employee costs by 25% (Jul. 06 2015)
    | Jul. 9, 2015, 11:27 AM | 2 Comments
  • Jul. 7, 2015, 6:16 PM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is among top postmarket decliners, off 3.7% after hours on a big block that came through in the past hour.
    • Shares gained 1.2% in the regular session today, bucking regional industry peers including Mobile TeleSystems (MBT -2.5%) and MiMES Rostelekom (OTCQX:ROSYY -3.5%).
    • The Amsterdam-based company noted today that it's joined Nederland ICT, a trade organization for more than 550 info-tech, telecom and Internet companies in the Netherlands. The move should foster better relationships with in-country peers and help develop home-grown talent for the sectors.
    • Previously: U.S. piles in to bribery probe of Russian phone firms (Jun. 30 2015)
    | Jul. 7, 2015, 6:16 PM
  • Jul. 7, 2015, 5:36 PM
    | Jul. 7, 2015, 5:36 PM | 19 Comments
Company Description
VimpelCom Ltd provides voice, data and other telecommunication services through an array of wireless, fixed and broadband internet services, as well as selling equipment and accessories.
Sector: Technology
Country: Russia