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Head of Telia Phone Company Quits

October 11, 2000

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Jan-Aake Kark resigned as chief executive of Sweden’s largest telephone company Telia on Wednesday because of ill health.

Kark spearheaded the government-owned company’s privatization drive which began last year, and some 1 million Swedes bought shares in Telia in an initial public offering in June. But the share price has fallen sharply from its IPO price of 85 kronor ($8.50) a share amid an overall decline in telecommunications stocks.

Telia denied the resignation was connected with a stock price decline.

After news of Kark’s resignation, Telia’s share price climbed 4.7 percent Wednesday to 53 kronor ($5.30).

``The telecom sector has not performed well in Europe lately,″ said analyst Peter Waerleus at Handelsbanken. ``The old telephone monopolies have lost about 30 percent in value during the past three months.″

Kark, 54, who was appointed CEO of Telia last year. He will be temporarily succeeded by the first vice managing director Marianne Nivert, 60.

Kark has been treated for a stomach ulcer and was recently diagnosed with unspecified heart problems, a company statement said.

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On the Net: http://www.telia.com

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