VimpelCom writes down Ukraine business following political unrest

07 March 2014 | Kavit Majithia


Russia-based telecoms operator VimpelCom has written down the value of its business in Ukraine by $2 billion, following the recent political problems in the country.

The network has not been interfered with by any political groups, but the company said that the writedown was forced due to an increase in the country’s risk premium, in addition to weaker operational performance

In a separate move, VimpelCom also implemented a writedown for the value of its Canadian business, stating that the challenges it faced in the country had forced it to withdraw from a spectrum auction.

Due to the losses in Ukraine and Canada, the company said it made a net loss of approximately $1.4 billion in 2013, with sales falling to $5.5 billion in the last quarter.

VimpelCom added that it was exploring options for the future of its Canadian business, with the group looking to either merge or sell the business in a bid to reduce debt.

In an apparent group restructure, VimpelCom said it was also looking to either share or sell off cell towers in Russia, Italy and Bangladesh.