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Vimpelcom CEO says hopes Djezzy discussed in Algiers

The Algerian government is trying to nationalize Orascom's Algerian unit Djezzy.


October 6, 2010 1:34 by

Vimpelcom’s Chief Executive said he hoped that the Russian firm’s purchase of Orascom’s disputed asset will be discussed in high level Russia-Algeria talks on Wednesday.

“I am ready to raise this question because it is a big investment, one of the biggest Russian investments in the Algerian economy. So that would be logical,” Alexander Izosimov told reporters.

The Algerian government is trying to nationalize Orascom’s Algerian unit Djezzy — the jewel in the crown of Vimpelcom’s proposed $6.6 billion deal to acquire telecoms assets of Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to discuss the issue with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers on Wednesday and try to convince Algeria to approve the sale of its biggest mobile telephone operator to Vimpelcom.

Izosimov reiterated Vimpelcom would prefer to keep Djezzy but would consider selling it “if the Algerian government insists.”

(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; writing by Maria Kiselyova; editing by John Bowker)


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