Fri, Apr. 24, 3:50 PM
- Moody's confirms its ratings on VimpelCom (VIP -3%) at Ba3 on the expectation that the telecom's financial metrics will be recovering in 2016.
- The ratings agency notes that risks from the company's leverage (via VimpelCom Holdings) raising above a key threshold will be limited.
- "Despite challenges, we expect VimpelCom to remain the third largest mobile operator in Russia in terms of subscriber numbers," says Moody's Artem Frolov.
- The agency expects only a low single-digit percent decline in ruble revenues and earnings, for economic reaosns, and that VimpelCom has a solid cash balance, particularly after drawing $3.8B for the sale of its stake in Algeria's Djezzy.
- Previously: VimpelCom completes sale of Algerian stake for $2.6B (Jan. 30 2015)
Tue, Apr. 14, 2:16 PM
- VimpelCom (VIP +2.1%) unit Telecel Zimbabwe has responded to regulators after being threatened with shutdown over license fees and compliance with black empowerment law.
- "We’ve been engaging quite closely" with Telecel, says Baxton Sirewu, acting director of Zimbabwe's regulator.
- The company has more than 2M customers and has brought in execs from other countries after being threatened with closure.
Mon, Apr. 6, 1:55 PM
- WTI crude oil is up 5.9% to $52.06/barrel. The ruble and Russian markets have followed oil higher - the MICEX index rose 1.1%, and the dollar-based Russian Trading System Cash Index rose 4.2% - and so have U.S.-traded Yandex (YNDX +6.5%), MTS (MBT +3.9%), and VimpelCom (VIP +6.7%).
- Yandex is up 9.5% since Deutsche upgraded last Thursday, arguing a Russian antitrust probe of Google will act as a positive catalyst.
Fri, Feb. 27, 7:31 PM
- Wind Telecomunicazioni -- the Italian unit of Russian telecom VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) -- may be selling its wireless towers to Spain's Abertis Infraestructuras (OTCPK:ABRTY) as soon as the coming week.
- The companies are talking about 6,000 towers that Wind values at as much as €700M ($786M), though other observers peg the value even higher, at €800M ($914M).
- An additional 1,700 towers under discussion could easily boost the deal to that latter figure or even to €900M ($1B).
- Abertis -- chiefly in toll-road management -- is reportedly considering transferring the towers into a unit to be listed on the Madrid exchange, in order to get more cash to shareholders.
- The Spanish firm is winning the deal over competition from American Tower (NYSE:AMT), Mediaset's (OTCPK:MDIUY) EI Towers and a coalition of investment fund F2i SGR and Providence Equity Partners.
- Shares of VimpelCom closed the day up 4.8%; they tracked lower in after-hours trading, -1.5%.
Tue, Feb. 24, 10:50 AM
- Units that are part of Russian mobile firms VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) and Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) have joined Turkcell (NYSE:TKC) in winning 3G licenses in Ukraine.
- The Russian firms protected some market position despite a signal from Ukraine that it would favor non-Russian firms in an effort to break up their dominance. VimpelCom's Kyivstar is the biggest carrier in the country, with 42% share.
- The companies praised the transparency of the auction process.
- In current trading: MBT +3.5%; VIP -1%; TKC -0.4%.
- Previously: Turkcell unit wins 3G spectrum in Ukraine (Feb. 23 2015)
Mon, Feb. 23, 11:09 AM
- Yandex (YNDX -4.6%), Qiwi (QIWI -8.2%), VimpelCom (VIP -5.7%), and MTS (MBT -7.9%) are seeing fresh selling pressure after Moody's joined S&P in downgrading Russia's debt rating to junk, and the U.S. and U.K. raised the prospect of fresh Ukraine-related sanctions.
- Yandex is now down 3% from where it traded before providing better-than-feared Q4 results and Q1 guidance last Wednesday. Qiwi hasn't yet posted its Q4 report.
Tue, Feb. 17, 6:49 PM
- Goldman Sachs upgraded Turkish telecom Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri (NYSE:TKC) to Buy, from its previous rating of Neutral.
- Its move (along with Citi's price target hike) is a rare bit of analyst sunshine after shares faced downgrades the past few months.
- The stock continues to be responsive to ruble moves; today shares were down 1.7% despite Goldman's upgrade, as today the ruble slipped to 63.41/dollar.
- The company cited currency losses from its operations in Ukraine and Belarus in explaining net income that dropped by half.
- Other ruble-related telecoms: (VIP -2.6%), (MBT -2.7%)
Tue, Feb. 17, 10:02 AM
- Talks are gaining steam between Hutchison Whampoa and VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) to merge their Italian wireless operations.
- There's no deal yet but a source says Hutchison's smaller 3 Italia (No. 4 of four competitors) would buy Wind Telecomunicazioni, VimpelCom's unit, in order to challenge market leader Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI).
- Il Giornale says managers for the two firms were meeting in London and a deal could be announced as soon as today.
- VIP currently -6.3%; MBT -3.4%, TKC -1.7% as the ruble sits at 63.14/dollar.
Thu, Feb. 5, 12:14 PM
- Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) is having another volatile day, up 12.3% now after analysts at Macquarie upgrade the stock to Neutral from Underperform.
- The shares also got an upgrade last week from Deutsche Bank, who raise the stock to Buy from Hold and raised price target to $12.70, from $9.00. MBT's currently trading at $9.77.
- MBT -- and Russian peer VimpelCom (VIP +6.9%) -- have been very sensitive to trading of the ruble, which is up slightly today at 66.65/dollar.
Tue, Feb. 3, 3:40 PM
- Another ruble gain, another up day for ruble-related telecoms as VimpelCom (VIP +12.1%), Mobile Telesystems (MBT +11.6%) and MiMES Rostelekom (OTCQX:ROSYY +3.5%) are all up strongly.
- The ruble gained to 65.22/dollar and the telecom firms have been heavily sensitive to the currency, all down more than 44% over the past year.
Mon, Feb. 2, 11:30 AM
- With the ruble gaining a bit of strength against the dollar (trading back around 68.8), telecoms with exposure to the currency are rising again.
- VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is having a field day, up 11.9%; Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) up 5.2%; MiMES Rostelekom (OTCQX:ROSYY) up a bit at +0.3%; Turkcell (NYSE:TKC) up 1.7%.
- News of VimpelCom wrapping a $2.6B sale of its interest in Djezzy is still making the rounds. The firm was downgraded by Deutsche Bank on Thursday.
Fri, Jan. 30, 12:52 PM
- VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) subsidiary Global Telecom Holding closed out its sale of a majority interest in Omnium Telecom Algeria, drawing $2.6B from the Algerian National Investment Fund.
- GTH will continue to hold operational control over the Algerian telecom, creating a public-private partnership.
- The deal makes room for VimpelCom pay down some gross debt and settles disputes the company filed against Algeria, following the payment of a $1.1B fine.
- VIP Shares are up 3.2%, swimming against the tide of ruble-relevant telecoms suffering today in the aftermath of a Russian interest-rate cut.
Fri, Jan. 30, 9:12 AM| 4 Comments
Mon, Jan. 26, 1:21 PM
- The ruble/dollar exchange rate is down to 67.9 after the U.S. and EU threatened Russia with new sanctions in the wake of a new offensive by pro-Russian Ukranian rebels. Meanwhile, S&P has downgraded Russia's debt rating to BB+ (junk status) from BBB-.
- Yandex (YNDX -4%), Qiwi (QIWI -2.6%), VimpelCom (VIP -2%), and MTS (MBT -8.2%) aren't reacting well. Russia's MICEX Index fell 1.8% today. The dollar-based Russia Trading System Cash Index fell 5%.
Mon, Jan. 12, 2:59 PM
- Yandex (YNDX -3.1%), Qiwi (QIWI -6.5%), VimpelCom (VIP -3.1%) and MTS (MBT -4.2%) are following the ruble lower once more. The dollar/ruble exchange rate is currently at 63.05.
- In the news today: 1) Angela Merkel has warned about a lack of progress at a 4-way summit aimed at easing Ukraine tensions. 2) Goldman has cut its 3-month dollar/ruble target to 70 and its 12-month target to 60, citing the impact of low oil prices. 3) The Russian central bank discloses it has respectively spent $76B and €5.4B to prop up the ruble against the dollar and euro. 4) The president of Russia's regional banking association warns "a wave of bankruptcies" could hit the country.
Dec. 31, 2014, 12:06 PM
- VimpelCom (VIP -6.1%), MTS (MBT -4.3%), Yandex (YNDX -2.6%), and Qiwi (QIWI -2.4%) are ending what has been a very tough year for nearly any Russia-related investment on a down note.
- The government's statistics ministry stated today 2014 inflation is expected to come in at 11.4% thanks to the ruble's plunge. Food prices are expected to post a 15.4% increase, non-food products an 8.1% increase, and service charges a 10.5% increase. Consumer prices are up 2.6% M/M in December.
- YTD declines: YNDX -58%. QIWI -63%. VIP -68%. MBT -65%.
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