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Kovalchuk May Buy Stake in Tele2 Russia, Sell Part of Sobinbank

Billionaire Yury Kovalchuk’s Bank Rossiya is studying buying a stake in wireless operator Tele2 Russia and may sell shares in its Sobinbank unit, spokesman Alexander Karmaev said by e-mail.

Kovalchuk, an ally of Vladimir Putin from the president’s hometown of St. Petersburg, may use Tele2 Russia to expand in telecommunications and media. The businessman controls National Media Group and is also a co-owner of CTC Media Inc. with the Stenbeck family, which formed Tele2 AB.