RPT-Russia's Alfa increases stake in Vimpelcom

(Repeats to wider audience)

MOSCOW, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group has increased its voting stake in emerging markets telecoms operator Vimpelcom to 41.85 percent from 40.5 percent, a spokesman for Alfa's Altimo unit said.

The increase brings Altimo's ownership of Vimpelcom closer to the 43 percent owned by Norwegian telecoms group Telenor .

Alfa has had a long-running battle with Telenor for control of Vimpelcom. Equal ownership in Vimpelcom is seen as a key condition for an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit brought by Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service earlier this year to contest Telenor's dominant position in Vimpelcom.

(Reporting By Vladimir Soldatkin, writing by Megan Davies)

((megan.davies@thomsonreuters.com)(+7 916 391 8262))