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Sistema defers India listing on bourses till 2G probe is over

Sistema defers India listing on bourses till 2G probe is over

Sistema Shyam TeleServices, a joint venture of Russia-based Sistema and the Russian Federation, and India's Shyam Group defers plans for listing the company on the bourses till the completion of the 2G probe.

Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), a joint venture (JV) of Russia-based Sistema and the Russian Federation, and India's Shyam Group that offers telecom services under the MTS brand, has deferred plans for listing the company on the bourses till the completion of the 2G probe .

"The company wants to go public by listing on the Indian bourses. But in this kind of environment, I would say we would definitely have to see what the outcome would be of the various investigations," SSTL president and chief executive officer (CEO) Vsevolod Rozanov said. "One has to see the rules of the game. We have to look at the outcome of these investigations, the rules of the proposed new telecom policy and the spectrum issue. We definitely need to wait until regulatory clearance arrives," he added.

In 2010, the Russian government invested Rs 2,698.8 crore in SSTL with additional finance to help it to rapidly expand its highspeed data network across India. The Russian Federation holds a 17.14 per cent stake in the firm, while Sistema holds majority stake with 56 per cent participating interest and the remaining stake rests with its Indian promoters.

The firm will complete three years of Indian operations in October with a total investment of $3 billion by the end of this year. Sistema has arranged $3 billion for overall commitment from the group on various operations, out of which around $2.5 billion has already been invested and the rest will be realised by the end of this year, Rozanov said.

"Our network is present in 20 circles out of total 22 circles in the country. We will launch the last two in a few days in J&K and North East," Rozanov added. The firm has over seven lakh data subscribers. Including voice services, it has more than 11 million customers. India's telecom sector that majorly contributes to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) has come under a probe late last year after it found a presumptive loss of over Rs 1.76 lakh crore due to the sale of 2G spectrum in 2008 by former telecom minister A. Raja at 2001 rates.

The matter is being investigated by various agencies, which led to the arrest of Raja last year, along with his party and ministerial colleague Kanimozhi besides other corporate honchos involved in the scam.