VimpelCom is to take a sizeable $900 million provision in its Q3 financial statement, to be announced late this week, as the fallout from the investigation of its activities in Uzbekistan continues.
The Netherlands-based operator group is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service for its behaviour in Uzbekistan.
VimpelCom “has been exploring resolution of the company’s potential liabilities”, it said in a statement, and has been co-operating with the authorities’ inquiries. Based on its assessment of where the investigation is going during Q3 2015, it took the $900 million provision in its Q3 report, due on 6 November.
And it added: “The discussions with the authorities are ongoing and, until concluded, there can be no certainty as to the final cost to the company of any such resolution or the nature, likelihood or timing of a definitive resolution.”
Telenor, which holds a 33 per cent stake in VimpelCom, put out a separate statement, saying: “Telenor Group sees VimpelCom’s announcement today as a serious development that significantly increases our concerns in relation to the potential outcome of the still ongoing investigations.”
Last week, Telenor chairman Svein Aaser resigned after the Norwegian government expressed a lack of confidence in him, in relation to the investigation. The Norwegian government holds a 54 per cent stake in Telenor.