2 Oct 2010 20:04

Russian companies should have priority in investment in financial sector

MOSCOW. Oct 2 (Interfax) - Russia is not against foreigners entering the Russian financial sector, but is working on ways to ensure that Russian companies have priority, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said.

"Foreign companies will come, we are just discussing a mechanism for giving priority to Russian companies," Kudrin said in an interview with the television channel Rossiya 24 responding to a question as to whether Russia is against the sale of a package of shares on the Russian Trading System Stock Exchange (RTS) to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

In July, it was reported that EBRD wants to buy a 10% stake in RTS from the bank KIT Finance for 2.1 billion rubles.

Kudrin said Russian investors are also ready to buy the 10% package of shares from KIT Finance. "It is a matter of competition, including for Russian companies, who have expressed an interest in this package," Kudrin said.

Kudrin said there are currently no restrictions on this issue in Russia and the buyer of the package will be determined through competition.

The Russian Finance Ministry is now working on a way to give Russian companies priority in buying large packages of shares. "Russia negotiated a transition period for a whole number of sectors, in which Russian companies will hold key packages, generally and in the talks with the WTO on financial services. We are now talking about developing a mechanism to control this process," Kudrin said.