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Altimo not to Buy/Sell New Turkcell Shares

Altimo, a Russian Alfa company sub-group, announced it has no intention of selling its Turkcell shares or buying more in the short-term.

The Alfa Group owned by Mikhail Fridman, through the $3.3 billion financing of Turkey's Cukurova Group in 2005 established Alfa Telecom International Mobile (Altimo), for investments in the telecommunication sector. Altimo had bought 13.2 percent of Turkcell, the leading GSM operator in Turkey, for $1.6 billion under the scope of financing.

Altimo CEO Alexey Reznikovich gathered with reporters in Istanbul Wednesday. Highlighting the debates of whether or not their shares in partnership will be altered, Reznikovich said Turkcell realized a premium reaching 20 percent since the transfer date. "Performance in the stock exchange is satisfying. However, we have no intention to sell our shares of Turkcell in the short term; and likewise we’ve no intention to buy shares either."

Reznikovich said Altimo does not intend to invest in another mobile operator in Turkey. Having reserved the investment strategies in Turkey, the company's CEO cited: "I do not want to disappoint you on our strategy. But we have no well thought plan regarding the market, we’ve just started."

As well as the Turkcell shares, Altimo owns 26.6 percent of shares in VimpelCom, the second biggest operator in Russia, 43.5 percent in Kyivstar, the biggest operator in the Ukraine and 25.1 percent in Megafon, the third biggest operator in Russia. The total value of investments stands at $9 billion.

Rzenikovich said they attended Turkcell's administrative board meeting on Thursday and he assumes they will participate in following meetings as well. "We are not concerned about the issue as others are. We are in a great harmony with our partners and will try our best to strengthen and expand Turkcell's financial structure and operation."

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