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VimpelCom will pass $1 billion along the chain


VimpelCom is to pay its sole shareholder - the international holding company “Vimpelcom Ltd.” interim dividends amounting to $965 million. It is almost all that has been in the accounts of the Russian operator at the end of June 2011. But VimpelCom must settle accounts with its shareholders.

In late November the sole shareholder of VimpelCom – “Vimpelcom Ltd.” – is to approve the interim dividends for the first nine months of 2011 that it will receive from its 100% Russian subsidiary, said company yesterday.

Its board of directors recommended the intermediate payment in size of 29.49 billion rubles. ($ 965 million at today's exchange rate of the Central Bank). Almost the same amount - 29.7 billion rubles. - was on accounts and deposits of VimpelCom at the end of the first half of 2011 (first nine months of VimpelCom have not yet been reported). A net income statement for the six months amounted to 28.4 billion rubles.

The official representative of VimpelCom did not comment on the issue of dividends on the grounds that the decision has not been approved by the shareholder. A company source suggested that the money may need to “Vimpelcom Ltd” for the same purpose - payment of interim dividends to shareholders of its own. On September 6, 2011 VimpelCom has promised to pay about $733 million ($ 0.45 per share) during December. "Vimpelcom Ltd” shall settle the payments to its shareholders no later than January 2012.

The dividend policy of “Vimpelcom Ltd.” provides the payment to its shareholders not less than 50% of the aggregate net cash flow of the Russian VimpelCom and Ukrainian "Kyivstar". But in 2011 having incorporated Naguib Sawiris’ “Wind Telecom”, “Vimpelcom Ltd.” accepted increased obligations and guaranteed annual payment to shareholders not less than $ 1.3 billion first time in the three years of the combined company existence. With the current number of shares it’s $ 0.8 per share.

“Vimpelcom Ltd.” can afford to pay $ 1.3 billion in dividends, it does not lead to a reduction in investment or financing of operations, says the analyst of "Troika Dialog" Anna Lepetukhina. But the possibility of increasing dividends will depend upon any further purchases, she cautions: in particular, on whether the split-off of “Vimpelcom’s” Egyptian and other asset structures to Naguib Sawiris (if not, VimpelCom will be required to pay Sawiris $770 million to keep it). In addition, VimpelCom to decide whether to redeem from Alexander Mamut extra 25% of "Euroset" recalls Lepetukhina. In October 2008, during the crisis, buying 49.9% of "Euroset" cost VimpelCom $226 million and in April 2011 investment banks evaluated all "Euroset" of $2,7-3,3 billion. |

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