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Russia's VTB says agreed to sell 50 pct of Tele2 Russia

MOSCOW, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Russia's VTB bank has agreed to sell a 50 percent stake in mobile phone operator Tele2 Russia to a group of Russian investors, a senior executive of VTB said on Friday.

The buyers include structures of Bank Rossiya and steelmaker Severstal, Yuri Soloviev, first deputy president of VTB's management board, told Reuters. He declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal.

A week ago Bank Rossiya, which is part-owned and chaired by Yuri Kovalchuk, an old acquaintance of President Vladimir Putin, said that it was considering participating in a deal to acquire part of Tele2 Russia, with VTB saying that a deal was possible in the next two weeks.

Tele2 Russia, the country's fourth largest mobile phone operator, was acquired by VTB for $3.66 billion in April, after its former parent company, Sweden's Tele2, decided to exit the Russian market.