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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Timber Industry Signs $5 Billion Deal

The Russian state timber company Roslesprom and the U.S. Export-Import Bank have signed a memorandum on guarantees of $5 billion for investment projects, Interfax reported.

Under the agreement, foreign commercial banks will give the Russian timber industry credits under Ex-Im Bank guarantees. About $1 billion is expected in 1996, Interfax said.

Among the projects envisioned are modernization of several major Russian timber plants, including those in Arkhangelsk, Perm and Sakhalin, improvement of export infrastructure and creation of a timber leasing company.

Russia's forest industry is second only to Canada's in the size of its reserves, is characterized by its massive resources and underdeveloped market. It is an attraction for foreign investment, and paper-company shares are among the star performers in the Russian market. After shrinking 68 percent in 1994, timber exports increased 14 percent through November 1995. But overall output fell 7 percent in 1995 from 1994, according to the State Statistics Committee.The newspaper Commersant Daily quoted Vladimir Markov, deputy head of Roslesprom, which coordinates the Russian timber industry, as saying many companies and banks already are prepared to provide credits.