Russian court adjournment opens way for Telenor asset sale

In the latest twist of the long tale, on Tuesday a Siberian court adjourned Telenor’s appeal against a $1.7 billion damages claim, leaving the way open for bailiffs to sell the Norwegian company's local assets to satisfy the claim, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Telenor has refused to pay the damages which it says are based on "illegal" rulings, and the sale of its shares in VimpleCom, Russia's second largest mobile operator would send shock waves through Russia's investment community.

The Federal Arbitrazh Court will resume the hearing on June 10. If it rules against Telenor, the company's only remaining recourse within Russia will be to the supreme court.

However, the bailiff service can, under Russian law, sell the stake before then, and it has already taken preliminary steps – writing to the stock exchange for a valuation of the stake and seeking the advice of a legal specialist, Dow Jones says.