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Algeria Is Still Discussing Djezzy Price, Minister Says

Algeria is still discussing the purchase price for 51 percent of mobile-phone company Djezzy, Finance Minister Karim Djoudi said in an interview today.

Djoudi said there was “nothing new” to report on the negotiations about the purchase of the stake from VimpelCom Ltd., the world’s sixth-largest wireless service operator by subscribers. “We are still discussing the price,” Djoudi said in an interview in Algiers, the capital. “We are still in negotiations.”

Djoudi said that a $1.3 billion fine levied on Djezzy would be factored in during the negotiations. He did not elaborate.

Algeria and Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, which is majority owned by VimpelCom, have been locked in an ownership dispute over Djezzy since early 2010. Reuters reported yesterday, citing an unidentified Finance Ministry official, that Algeria agreed to pay $6.5 billion for the stake in Djezzy.

Orascom, North Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company, said in a filing to the Egyptian stock exchange today that it isn’t currently involved in the talks between Algeria and VimpelCom, with which it merged last year.

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