8 Dec 2010 11:32

AFK Sistema still interested in European assets - Yevtushenkov

BRUSSELS. Dec 8 (Interfax) - AFK Sistema still has interest in buying assets in Europe, the company's main owner Vladimir Yevtushenkov told Interfax.

"We are still interested," Yevtushenkov said, declining to say when possible deals might be done.

Yevtushenkov told Interfax not long ago that Sistema was considering the acquisition of telecommunications assets in Europe. "There should be a balance" of developing and mature-market assets in the company's holdings, he said on the sidelines of an economic forum in St. Petersburg.

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is AFK Sistema's representative on the telecommunications markets of Russia and elsewhere in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Sistema Shyam Teleservices represents the company in India.

A major MTS competitor - Vimpelcom Ltd - has clinched an agreement to acquire a telecommunications holding from Egyptian billionaire Nagib Saviris that, in addition to the Italian and Canadian operator Wind, boasts assets in Algeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Central African Republic, and Namibia. Saviris might be about to lose one of his larger assets, as the Algerian government is looking to nationalize cellular operator Djezzy.