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Italy’s Enel to invest around €9 bln in Russia by 2013

Italian power company Enel plans to invest around €9 billion ($14 billion) in the Russian economy over the next five years, a Russian presidential aide said on Wednesday.

Speaking after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian business leaders near Moscow, Sergei Yastrzhembsky said Enel SpA CEO Fulvio Conti had proposed his company’s assistance in training electrical engineers in Russia. Yastrzhembsky also said Russia and Italy plan to establish a joint investment bank on a parity basis by the end of this year. “A proposal was put forward, and has been fully supported, on the establishment of a new Italian-Russian investment bank, which would include Intesa Sanpaolo and a number of Italy’s largest energy and industry companies,” he said.

The Russian natural gas monopoly’s Gazprombank and the Development Bank (Vnesheconombank) will participate from the Russian side. He said the bank will support major investment projects in Europe, Russia and other former Soviet republics, as well as in China and India, and is likely to be set up by the end of the year. “It will be established on the basis of Italian laws and headquartered in Italy,” the official said.

President Putin spoke to 15 leading Italian businessmen at his residence near Moscow. The meeting also involved Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina, and the Russian ambassador to Italy, Alexei Meshkov. “Last year, bilateral trade between our countries increased substantially to a record $36 billion. The increase was driven by a rise in Russian energy supplies and almost 50% growth in Italian exports,” Putin said. The outgoing Russian president also announced that the two countries would hold a fifth round of interstate consultations in the H2 of this year. (Ria Novosti)