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George Soros lost $1 billion on Russian company shares

Famous billionaire George Soros made a decision to get rid of “the worst investment in his life” –shares of Russian telecommunication holding “Svyazinvest”.
He purchased 25 percent of Svyazinvest shares at $1.8 billion in 1997, and now agreed to sell them at $600-700 million to Access Industries company controlled by BP-TNK shareholder Len Blavatnik. 

George Soros is required to receive approval from Mustcom company controlled by him, but there are no doubts he will be granted the approval. According to British press, the change in ownership provides the opportunity for the privatizing Svyazinvest telecommunication company (75 percent of its shares are currently owned by the state). There is a version that Mr. Blavatnik purchased George Soros’s shares hoping to benefit from the privatization of the holding controlling seven regional companies and having shares of Rostelekom – Russian major telecommunication company.

Although George Soros estimated Svyazinvest assets as $2.6 billion, Russian government intends to receive much bigger sum during the holding privatization. The auction on privatizing Svyazinvest may take place before the end of 2004, NEWSru reports.

Source: Finansovye Izvestia

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