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MTS sees $200 mn synergies from Comstar deal

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CIOL Bureau
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MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Russia's top mobile operator, MTS said on Monday its purchase of a 51 per cent stake in Comstar should generate synergy gains with a net present value of more than $200 million.

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MTS bought the stake in the fixed-line telecom operator from services conglomerate Sistema - the parent of both the companies - for 39.15 billion roubles ($1.32 billion) this month.

The purchase would bring more than $60 million synergies in sales to individual clients and more than $12 million in corporate segment sales, as well as more than $120 million in savings on general and infrastructure related expenses.

Raises capex guidance

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Meanwhile, MTS also raised capital expenditure guidance for 2009 to $1.8 billion from $1.5 billion.

"MTS ... raised CAPEX guidance ... primarily due to Russian rouble appreciation, as well as additional spending in central Asian markets to accommodate increasing traffic," the company said in a statement on Monday.

MTS also said its revenue was expected to reach $8.25 billion in 2009, down from $10.2 billion last year "assuming stability of exchange rates of national currencies and stable macroeconomic conditions in the operating markets".

The margin, on the basis of operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA), was forecast to exceed 45 per cent, the company said, down from 50.2 per cent in 2008.

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