Body Clears 2 Strategic Foreign Bids

The state has approved foreign investors' first two requests to take stakes in strategic industries, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service's chief said Friday.

A commission created by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in July to oversee the requests allowed a Swiss firm indirectly controlled by the Italian government to buy a blocking stake in Sukhoi Civil Aviation, said Igor Artemyev, who is also a member of the commission.

World's Wing has been given permission to acquire a stake of 25 percent plus one share. "There are no barriers to this deal going ahead," Artemyev said.

The committee also endorsed an acquisition by De Beers, the world's largest diamond miner, of 49.99 percent of Russian producer Arkhangelskgeologodobycha, through the South African its Russian unit, Archangel Investments.

Artemyev said the commission was considering "about another ten" requests and that it would meet again this year, Interfax reported.

Russian banks using encryption will be able to sell assets to foreign firms without permission from the commission to resolve "a legal collision," he added.

The body also includes First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, three deputy prime ministers, seven ministers, and the heads of Rosatom, the Federal Space Agency, the FSB and the intergovernmental state-secrets commission.

In May, then-President Putin signed a law limiting investment in 42 sectors, including oil, gas, mining, nuclear and defense industries. (Bloomberg, MT)