* Review critical of how some deals handled
* Former Eurasia chief also to leave company - source
* Former CEO and most of board stepped down earier in year
(Recasts with CFO, adds detail, source, shareholder comment)
By Sven Nordenstam and Olof Swahnberg
STOCKHOLM, Nov 29 Sweden's TeliaSonera
has fired its chief financial officer and three other senior
employees after investigators it hired criticised the way it had
conducted business in the Eurasia region, the telecoms company
said on Friday.
Swedish prosecutors last year started a preliminary
investigation into Telia's purchase of a 3G telecoms licence in
Uzbekistan after bribery allegations that resulted in the exit
of the company's former chief executive and most of the board.
Telia said the four people were dismissed after a law firm
it appointed to investigate deals in Eurasia found that "the
processes for conducting some transactions have not been in line
with sound business practices". It gave no further details of
the law firm's findings.
Telia Chairwoman Marie Ehrling said in a statement that the
four individuals had lost the board's trust and were notified
that their employment was being terminated. The employees will
leave immediately, she said.
The company said CFO Per-Arne Blomquist was one of the four,
while a source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Tero
Kivisaari, the former head of Telia's Eurasia region - covering
markets such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Tajikistan -
would also leave the company.
Neither Blomquist nor Kivisaari could immediately be reached
Shares in the telecoms operator were down 2 percent at 1032
GMT, heading for their worst day in more than five months and by
far the weakest share in the STOXX Europe telecoms index
"We see it as a positive step, but we hope that it is not
just people they are replacing, but also the way they operate,"
said Sasja Beslik, head of responsible investment and governance
at Nordea Investment Funds, which holds about 1.4 percent of
Telia said it would hand over the Eurasia review, conducted
by law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, to the prosecutors
investigating Telia's actions in Uzbekistan.
An earlier report by a law firm it hired to investigate the
Uzbek 3G deal did not uncover any evidence of bribery or money
laundering, though it was highly critical of the company.
Telia's chief executive resigned after the investigation and
most of the board stepped down.
The prosecutors are looking into allegations that Telia paid
2.3 billion Swedish crowns ($350.9 million) for its 3G licence
to a company it knew was a front for Gulnara Karimova, the
daughter of Uzbek president Islam Karimov.
A Swedish court has agreed to freeze assets belonging to
Takilant Ltd, the Gibraltar-listed company from which Telia
bought its Uzbek licence.
Karimova has denied the allegations.
(Additional reporting by Simon Johnson; editing by David