Putin calls for Russia to attract more foreign investment

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian government on Friday to push foreign investment to pre-crisis level of $60-70 billion per year.

“We must set the goal – to reach the pre-crisis level of direct foreign investment of $60-70 billion per year. And then to make more effort and top this level. We must step up work to increase foreign investment seriously. This is a goal for both federal and regional authorities,” Putin told a government foreign investment committee.

The Statistics Service says Russia’s direct foreign investment shrank 13.2% last year, although total investment skyrocketed 40%. Putin said that foreign investors were interested in Russia, adding that Russian stock market indices grew most last year comparing with other BRIC countries and key developed states.

Federal Antimonopoly Service head Igor Artemyev told reporters the committee had approved a request from France’s Alstom to acquire 25% plus one share of Transmashholding (TMH), Russia’s largest supplier of rolling stock for the rail sector from Breakers Investments BV, TMH’s core shareholder based in the Netherlands.

“This is one of the most important deals that has ever been approved by the committee. The deal is to be closed in the nearest future,” Artemyev said, adding the committee had demanded Alstom maintain the state secret regime at TMH and its military capacities.

Alstom and Breakers Investments signed the deal last March and the French firm plans to pay for the stake in two tranches. The initial payment will amount to $75 million while the final value of the deal will depend on TMH’s 2008-2011 results. TMH may withdraw from the deal with Alstom if the price for the stake is below 250 million euros.

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Moscow Region, March 25 (RIA Novosti)

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