18 Sep 2009 15:42

Sistema studies opportunities to expand electricity, petrochemical businesses

SOCHI. Sept 18 (Interfax) - AFK Sistema is studying opportunities to expand its electricity and petrochemical businesses, Sistema's leading shareholder, Yevgeny Yevtushenkov, said on Vesti 24 television.

"We are interested in new sectors. We are looking at electricity and petrochemicals. We have certain assets [in those sectors] already. But this of course requires more careful analysis, detailed analysis, study," he said when asked what new business areas the company might expand into.

It was reported earlier that Sistema acquired controlling stakes in Bashkorotostan fuel and energy companies last spring: Bashneft, Ufaneftechim , Novoil , Ufaorgsintez , Ufimsky NPZ and Bashkirnefteproduct.

Asked whether the Bashkir purchases had lived up to expectations, Yevtushenkov said: "Prior to the purchase there was a great deal of caution, fear of the unknown. In any case, the previous owners constructed a workable structure for managing the assets. I was afraid that we would be unable to take in that business. But we were able to get a handle on it. The second quarter results were very good. We are very pleased. Now we know for sure what the strategy [for the Bashkir assets] should be. We understand that we are building a new vertically integrated company in Russia, with the best facilities, with good production and with our own retail chain," he said.

"We do not plan to sell these assets," Yevtushenkov.