Moscow: Indian mobile telecoms group Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd, a unit of Russia’s AFK Sistema OAO, was valued at $3.5 billion (Rs16,800 crore) by an independent appraiser, a person familiar with the valuation said on Wednesday.

The Russian government has allocated 23.7 billion rubles (Rs3,780 crore) in its 2009 budget to buy a stake of around 20% in Sistema Shyam. Sistema owns 73.71% and India’s Shyam group, 23.79%. Finance minister Alexei Kudrin said Russia hopes to make the deal this year.

“Sistema Shyam is valued by (appraiser) Avers at around $3.5 billion," the person said on condition of anonymity. The valuation would put a price of some $700 million on a 20% stake. Earlier, Vedomosti business daily had said the state may buy 20%of Sistema Shyam for $680 million.