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OSLO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Telenor said on Monday its chief executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas had stepped down from the supervisory board of U.S.-listed VimpelCom.
Amsterdam-based Vimpelcom, Uzbekistan’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers, said in March it was being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Dutch authorities.
Telenor holds 33 percent of the economic interests in VimpelCom and 43 percent of the voting rights.
“By stepping down from the supervisory board of VimpelCom, Jon Fredrik Baksaas will eliminate any potential conflict of interest under the circumstances,” it said.
“Corruption allegations and speculations are serious and Telenor as a minority owner will continue to take necessary actions to protect its interests,” the Norwegian telecoms firm said in a statement.
Baksaas said: ”I am stepping down from the VimpelCom board to solely focus on protecting Telenor’s position.
“As an owner in VimpelCom we will assist the ongoing investigations.”
Telenor said in November it would like to shed its VimpelCom stake, but that to sell at the current share price would “rob” Telenor’s shareholders.
VimpelCom shares were trading at $4.29 per share by 1645 GMT on Monday, 7.3 percent down from the previous session.
Telenor’s shares were down less than one percent at 152.8 Norwegian krone ($21). ($1 = 7.1643 Norwegian krones) (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis. Editing by Jane Merriman)