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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Beeline parent Vimpelcom hits one-year Nasdaq high

Beeline parent Vimpelcom hits one-year Nasdaq high

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A Beeline worker displays applications for Beeline’s tariff “Super Zero” in Phnom Penh this month. The firm’s parent, Vimpelcom, has seen its share price climb 232.6 percent this year on the back of mostly good news, despite a recent legal dispute in Cambodia.

Despite legal dispute with Mobitel, it has been all good news for Russian firm in the past month as shares soared past $19

VIMPELCOM, which runs Cambodia’s newest mobile operator Beeline through local subsidiary Sotelco, saw its shares reach their highest level this year at US$19.05 by the end of trading Tuesday on the Nasdaq exchange in New York.

Having fallen as low as $4.91 on March 2, the Moscow-based telecommunications firm climbed 11.73 percent, or $2, in Tuesday trading following a recent spate of mostly positive news.

Bank of America increased its price estimate for the stock Monday from $12 to $22 and its rating from “neutral” to “buy”.
This comes after Vimpelcom on September 16 announced it had agreed to acquire Millicom SA’s 78-percent stake in Millicom Laos Co for about $66 million.

“Vimpelcom’s entry into Laos is the next logical step in our international expansion strategy. Laos provides a great complement to our existing operations in Vietnam and Cambodia and fits perfectly into our strategy of building a solid Southeast Asian cluster,” said CEO Boris Nemsic in a statement last week. “The growth potential in Laos is attractive, with a population of 6.5 million people and low mobile penetration estimated at around 23 percent.”

The Laos operation as a whole is valued at $102 million, it added.

At the end of last month, Vimpelcom announced a 3.3 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in net operating revenues to 69 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) for the three months leading up to the end of June, a period in which it launched in Cambodia and Vietnam while adding an additional million subscribers worldwide, it said.

However, in Cambodia Beeline faces a legal dispute involving a lawsuit filed by competitor Mobitel with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last month, a deputy prosecutor confirmed Wednesday.

Tuesday’s performance on the Nasdaq means Vimpelcom’s stock has climbed 232.6 percent this year.

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