Russia's Sistema acquires stake in Indian telco

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MOSCOW, Sep 26 (Reuters) Russian services conglomerate Sistema has bought 10 percent of Indian telecoms operator Shyam Telelink Ltd for .4 million and said on Wednesday it plans to raise its stake to 51 percent.

Sistema, which controls Russia's top mobile phone firm, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) , said in a statement the deal would amount to .1 million if an Indian regulator allowed it to acquire control of Shyam Telelink.

Shyam Telelink has a licence to provide fixed-line and cellular services in India's western Rajasthan state and also controls local Internet services provider Shyam Internet.

''The acquisition of the stake in Shyam Telelink is in line with our strategy to enter rapidly developing markets and further integrate Sistema in the global business community,'' said Sistema Chief Executive Officer Alexander Goncharuk.

''We consider India as one of the most attractive markets with a high growth potential. We are pleased to be the first Russian company to enter the Indian telecommunications sector,'' Goncharuk said.

REUTERS SR GC1912

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