Telenor strikes back in Vimpelcom control battle

Norway's Telenor said on Thursday it would again be the largest shareholder in mobile phone operator Vimpelcom after acquiring additional shares, surpassing the stake owned by a Russian businessman.

Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Altimo firm said on Wednesday it had become the biggest shareholder in Vimpelcom after a $3.6 billion deal with Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, extending a bitter feud with Telenor for control of a company with the world's sixth-largest mobile subscriber base.

But Telenor also said it had acquired more voting shares in Vimpelcom after Sawiris' Weather Investments decided to exercise a sell option, taking its stake in Vimpelcom to 43 percent against 40.5 percent for Altimo.

No price was given for the transaction, which Telenor said should be completed by October 1st at the latest.

Fridman is one of Russia's most powerful businessmen and the country's authorities have yet to recognise all of Telenor's additional acquisitions of Vimpelcom stock.

Their disputes have become a part of official government contacts between Moscow and Oslo.

Thursday's edition of the Kommersant business daily said Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) had come up with a four-point peace pact that would see mutual operation of Vimpelcom by the two enemy camps.

The accord — terms of which would approve the Norwegian's company acquisition of additional shares in Vimpelcom — would see Altimo and Telenor reach parity and install a Russian as the head of the operator.

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Found out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with the Local’s short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
The northern lights in Tromsø. Photo by Lightscape on Unsplash

One in ten international students in Norway has had Covid-19

Ten percent of overseas students studying in Norway, compared to just 2.9 percent of Norwegian students, have had Covid-19, according to the Students Health and Well Being Survey (SHoT).

Some 62,000 thousand of Norway’s 300,000 students responded to the survey.

READ MORE: Are Norway’s Covid-19 numbers on track for reopening?

Overall, nearly three percent said that they been infected with the Coronavirus, just over half have had to self isolate, and 70 percent took tests.

Woman in her 40’s charged with murder

A woman has been charged with murder in Halden, southeast Norway after a body was found in an apartment in the towns centre.

She will be questioned on Tuesday. A public defender has been appointed. 

Six police cars attended the scene at a small housing association in the centre of Halden.

A person found in the same apartment is being questioned as a witness.

Network provider Telenor’s revenues down 2.1 billion kroner compared to last year

Telenor’s revenues are down 2.1 billion in the first quarter and the company has written of its 6.5 billion kroner investment in Myanmar following Februarys military coup.

The mobile network operator became one of the first foreign providers in the country and had gained a 35 percent market share.

However, the country’s new military regime shut down the mobile network on March 15th.

“In Myanmar, we are experiencing a confusing and uncertain situation. We are deeply concerned about the development in the country,” The company stated in its quarterly report.

Norway and Sweden in reindeer border dispute

Swedish Sami reindeer herders will appear in court this week in a case against the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The Swedish Sami herders believe they have exclusive rights to grazing areas across the Norwegian border because they have lived in the surrounding area for hundreds of years. The Norwegian government rejects these claims.

The reindeer grazing convention will be central to the case; the convention facilitates mutual cross-border grazing for reindeer herds.

Sweden withdrew from the convention in 2005. However, Norway enshrined the convention in law in 2005.

483 Coronavirus infections recorded

On Monday, 483 new cases of Covid-29 were registered, an increase of 75 compared to the average of the previous week.

READ ALSO: Norway considers lifting measures for people who have had their first Covid vaccine 

This is down from 1150 cases registered during the peak of Norway’s third wave on March 16th.

This is partly because fewer infections are registered during weekends and public holidays, causing an uptick on Mondays.