Uralsvyaz plans USD150m deal; Vimpelcom says no point in Svyazinvest sale

10 Sep 2008

Russian telco Uralsvyazinform has said it will issue five-year credit linked notes (CLNs) worth USD150 million in the fourth quarter of this year, Reuters reports. The firm said it expects a rate of 9% in the first 18 months of the notes’ duration. ‘The funds are planned to be used for general corporate needs,’ Uralsvyazinform said in a statement. The telco operates in the Urals region and is part of the state telecoms holding group Svyazinvest.

Separately, the CEO of Russia’s second largest cellular operator by subscribers, Vimpelcom, says he sees no urgent requirement for the state to sell its stake in Svyazinvest. ‘I do not quite understand why the government should privatise Svyazinvest now, especially while oil prices are high,’ said Alexander Izosimov, chief executive of Vimpelcom, in an interview with Reuters. The privatisation of Svyazinvest has been on the government’s agenda for several years, though telecoms minister Igor Shchegolev recently admitted that there are still no concrete plans for a sale. Svayzinvest is 75% minus one share controlled by the Russian government, with the remainder held by wireline telco Comstar UTS, which is itself controlled by Russia’s Sistema group.

Russia, Svyazinvest