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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Russian & Norwegian Shenanigans

The issue of an international arrest warrant for Rozhetskin, who is the guy who sold his stake in Megafon to Fridman (Alfa/Altimo) rather than Galmond & Reiman (IPOC) seems to have triggered another batch of leaks about the murky world of doing business in post-communist Russia. The story is well worth a read and contains information, whether true or not, which has never been revealed before.

At the moment, Teliasonera is sensibly keeping well out of the Megafon argument and things are all quiet on its’ ongoing battle with Altimo in Turkey. However, Telenor is battling on in the full spotlight and seems to me to be consistently losing. Unfortunately for Telenor, it seems in a lot of trouble back home for loaning the daughter of the CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas a few mobile phones. The difference between what can get you in trouble in Russia and Norway is stark.

It should have been such a good week for Telenor as the founder (Muhammad Yunus) of it’s partner (GrammenPhone) in Bangladesh won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on MicroCredits. Would be churlish of me to mention the possibility of lobbying from a major sponsor of the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo on behalf of one its’ partners?