6 Oct 2009 14:19

Russian automotive cos have 100 bln rubles in debt

MOSCOW. Oct 6 (Interfax) - Russian automotive manufacturers have combined debt totaling 100 billion rubles, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told journalists on Tuesday following a meeting of the economic development commission he chairs.

The 100-billion ruble figure is the debt "of all enterprises in the sector, the accumulated debt," Shuvalov said.

The debt issue "will be resolved together with development problems," he said. The money the companies need will be borrowed, including via the mechanism of state guarantees, he said.

At the meeting, a decision to set up a working group on development of the automotive industry was approved. It will be led by Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina and Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko. The working group will propose measures to assist in the recovery of the automotive industry, which will be discussed at a commission meeting on November 10.

The commission will prepare materials on the automotive sector for a government meeting in December, Shuvalov said.

Commenting on the results of a meeting with foreign automakers on Monday, Shuvalov said they remained interested in the Russian market, despite a decline in sales to 1.39 million vehicles in 2009. "This necessitates adjustments to their plans, but they don't plan to drop out of the competition," he said.

Ford and Toyota in particular confirmed their plans for Russia, he said.