Telenor can handle Vimpelcom dividend cut: CEO

OSLO Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:21am EST

OSLO Jan 29 (Reuters) - Norway's Telenor has a big enough cash flow to handle Vimpelcom's dividend cut and it is sensible for Russia-focused Vimpelcom to reduce its debt, Chief Executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas said on Wednesday.

Vimpelcom will slash its dividend to pay down debt piled up in an aggressive expansion drive, sending its shares sharply lower and also dragging down the Telenor stock.

"This will not put pressure on our cash flow," Baksaas told Reuters. "We have a cash flow that can handle this."

"It's sensible for Vimpelcom to cut its debt, even if we could have differing views on the way it's done."

Telenor holds 33 percent of Vimpelcom and 43 percent of voting rights.