MOSCOW Oct 3 Russia's competition regulator is
positive toward Telenor's proposal to reach parity
ownership in telecoms group Vimpelcom with Russian
co-investor Altimo, its head said on Wednesday.
"FAS will ask the government commission (on foreign
investments) to take a positive decision as Telenor is a big
investor and we have to send a positive signal," Igor Artemyev,
head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS), told reporters.
The Norwegian telecoms firm suggested on Monday that it and
Altimo should buy and split a 6 percent stake owned by Bertofan,
an investment vehicle of Ukrainian tycoon Viktor Pinchuk, so the
two would have equal voting power, as it raised its Vimpelcom
stake to 43 percent against Altimo's 40.5 percent.
Parity ownership is seen as a key condition of an
out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit brought by FAS earlier this
year to contest Telenor's dominant position in Vimpelcom. The
first court hearing into the merit of the case is scheduled for