Telenor's chairman resigns amid investigations over Uzbek operations

By bne IntelliNews November 3, 2015

Svein Aaser, the chairman of Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor, announced his resignation on October 30, Telenor said in a statement the same day.

Aaser’s decision came the midst of investigations by US and European prosecutors over the business dealings of Amsterdam-based VimpelCom, in which Telenor has a 33% minority stake, in Uzbekistan. Nordic peer TeliaSonera and Russian MTS are also being scrutinised for supposedly bribing their way into the Uzbek mobile market. The companies allegedly transferred dubious payments to bank accounts linked to Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of long-serving President Islam Karimov. On October 5, Telenor also announced its intention to divest all of its shares from VimpelCom.

“Telenor’s Board together with the new CEO decided to divest the company’s minority stake in VimpelCom,” Aaser said in the resignation statement. “As part of the review, I also assessed my own position. The VimpelCom case has been ongoing for several years, and it has been demanding and complex to manage.”

TeliaSonera also announced its intention to slowly disinvest from its other troublesome Eurasian assets.

Related Articles

Iran's supreme leader dumps Telegram Messenger and plugs domestic rivals as ban fears grow

Top Iranian officials including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stopped using the Telegram Messenger messaging application and started promoting domestic alternatives in advance of the April 18 ... more

KKR's United Group to invest €293mn in Serbia within next five years

United Group, a leading multi-play (Pay-TV, Broadband, Telephony, Mobile) operator in Southeast Europe, majority owned by US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), plans to invest ... more

China’s ZTE shares suspended after US hits company for breaking plea bargain over Iran exports

Chinese electronics giant ZTE Corp on April 17 was forced to halt trading of its shares in Hong Kong and Shenzen after the US slapped it with a seven-year ban on buying American-made chips ... more