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Veon boosts cash reserves in face of Russian war

Serkan Okandan Veon CFO.jpg

Veon has more cash reserves than when Russia invaded Ukraine, the company has announced.

The company, whose biggest business is in Russia, says its total cash and deposits have increased to approximately US$2.4 billion, including $1.8 billion in cash and deposits held by its headquarters in Amsterdam, in both dollars and euros.

These were the numbers at the start of this week, marking a rise from a total of $1.9 billion, including $1.3 billion in Amsterdam.

The declaration marks a significant change from the start of May, when the company warned in a US filing that the war “may cast significant doubt on our ability to continue as a going concern”, though Veon later contested that this was a mandatory filing that had to account for all risk factors.

In Russia, Veon’s VimpelCom accounts for 52% of the group’s business; Kyivstar in Ukraine accounts for another 13%.

Group CFO Serkan Okandan said the company has been able “to maintain a prudent liquidity position in this period of macroeconomic uncertainty”.

However, Veon notes that it has a “limited amount” of cash in roubles in Amsterdam to cover payments due for rouble loans. It has to repay a $24 million loan to Raiffeisen Russia by the end of May, “due to the cancellation of its commitments in compliance with new Russian regulatory requirements”.

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