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Russia’s VTB Bank to give $5 billion loan to operator Tele2 for year

June 20, 2014, 13:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Shareholders of Russia’s VTB Bank, the country’s largest bank after Sberbank, approved on Thursday a $5 billion one-year loan for regional mobile operator Tele2, according to the bank’s documents seen by PRIME on Friday.

VTB Bank and Tele2 declined to comment, but a source close to one of the firms told PRIME that $5 billion is a maximum amount that Tele2 may borrow.

“The money will be spent on general corporate purposes: refinancing previous loans, as well as the construction of a network in the Moscow Region,” the source said.

Tele2 entered the Russian market in 2003 and is licensed to provide services in 42 out of the country’s 85 regions. Its market share is about 10%.

Russia’s VTB Group acquired the company from Sweden’s Tele2 AB in March 2013 and sold 50% in it in October 2013 to firms affiliated with businessman Alexei Mordashov, who now holds 40% in it, and Bank Rossiya, now with 10% of the firm.

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