VimpelCom Rises as Orascom Rejects Fine, Files for Arbitration

VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP) rose the most in three weeks in U.S. trading after the company’s subsidiary said it rejected a $1.3 billion fine against its Algerian unit and submitted an arbitration notice against the North African nation.

VimpelCom, the world’s sixth-largest wireless operator by subscribers, climbed 2.3 percent to $10.85 at 3:35 p.m. in New York, the biggest one-day advance since March 22 based on closing prices.

VimpelCom’s subsidiary Orascom Telecom Holding SAE (ORTE), North Africa’s biggest mobile phone company, is disputing the $1.3 billion fine imposed by an Algerian court against the Djezzy unit for allegedly violating foreign-exchange regulations, according to a statement e-mailed today.

Algeria is in talks to buy a stake in Djezzy from VimpelCom, which merged with Orascom last year. It is still discussing a purchase price for the 51 percent stake, Finance Minister Karim Djoudi said in an interview on March 29.

“If the $1.3 billion fine is lifted, the sale value discussion will be resolved and the stock will gain,” Iouli Matevossov, an analyst at Alfa Bank in Moscow, said by phone.

VimpelCom remains open to “finding an amicable resolution with the Algerian government,” it said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Halia Pavliva in New York at Ksenia Galouchko in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at

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