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    SOROS TO SELL HIS STAKE IN SVYAZINVEST

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    LONDON/MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Financial Times reported that George Soros, a famous American investor, agreed to sell his shares of Svyazinvest for $600-700 million.

    "The stake is believed to have been sold ... to Access Industries, a company controlled by Len Blavatnik, a Russian investor who is also a shareholder in BP-TNK, the oil company," the newspaper reported.

    Mr. Soros bought 25% and one share of Svyazinvest stock for $ 1.8 million in 1997. Later, he called that purchase "the worst investment of my life."

    "Shareholders in Mustcom, a holding company two thirds owned by Mr. Soros, have yet to vote formally on the transaction," the Financial Times reported. However, according to the newspaper, the deal will most likely be approved. As a minority shareholder of Svyazinvest, Mustcom could not influence decision making during last few years, the newspaper reported.

    The newspaper views Mr. Blavatnik's purchase of 25% of Svyazinvest as a long-term investment aimed at "increasing his holding at privatisation."

    Svyazinvest refused to comment on the issue.

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