Vimpelcom to move stock listing to Nasdaq

MOSCOW Wed Aug 7, 2013 7:32am EDT

People pass by a branch belonging to Beeline mobile phone service, a brand owned by telecoms group Vimpelcom, in Russia's southern city of Stavropol, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko

People pass by a branch belonging to Beeline mobile phone service, a brand owned by telecoms group Vimpelcom, in Russia's southern city of Stavropol, May 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eduard Korniyenko

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Telecoms group Vimpelcom VIP.N, with assets in Russia, Italy and several emerging markets, said on Wednesday it was switching its listing to Nasdaq (NDAQ.O) after nearly two decades of trading on the NYSE Euronext NYX.N.

The company also said it appointed Andrew Davies, chief financial officer of Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between U.S. group Verizon Communications (VZ.N) and the UK's Vodafone (VOD.L), as its CFO, replacing Henk van Dalen.

Vimpelcom, which listed on the NYSE in 1996, said the move to Nasdaq would allow it to be included into several Nasdaq indexes and save costs.

"There are many TMT (technology, media and telecoms) companies present on Nasdaq ... and we think it is a natural step for Vimpelcom to be included into that very strong group of companies," CEO Jo Lunder said.

"This is something we have been analyzing and looked into for a while and we decided that now is the time."

The NYSE and Nasdaq compete fiercely for listings, although Russian companies which seek overseas trading tend to apply to the London Stock Exchange, which is closer.

Vimpelcom will join other Russian technology-focused companies on Nasdaq such as search engine Yandex (YNDX.O).

The move will be a loss for the NYSE, which boasts a handful of Russian names such as Vimpelcom rival MTS (MBT.N), steel and coal miner Mechel (MTL.N) and U.S.-based IT services provider Epam Systems Inc (EPAM.N).

Vimpelcom, whose biggest shareholders are Russia's Altimo and Norwegian telecoms group Telenor (TEL.OL), expects to begin trading on September 10.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Megan Davies, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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