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DP World to acquire a 25-percent stake in Russian port

DP World to acquire a 25-percent stake in Russian port

Dubai: Russian authorities gave the go-ahead for a unit of the troubled Dubai World conglomerate to buy a 25-percent stake in the management company at a major port on Russia's Pacific coast, writes AFP. Vostochny is a warm water port and one of the largest transport hubs in eastern Russia -- close to Chinese, Japanese and South Korean markets. The Vostochny company is majority owned by Russian steel magnate Alexei Mordashov.

"The purchase by DP World, that is to say Dubai World... of 25 percent in the Vostochny port management company controlled by Alexei Mordashov has been approved," said Igor Artemyev, head of Russia's anti-monopoly commission. The value of the investment was not disclosed.

Russia has boosted exports to its Asian neighbours since the collapse of the Soviet Union -- mainly in the form of oil and gas -- but trading volumes are still estimated to be at only a fraction of their potential.

DP World ran into fierce opposition in the United States in 2006 when its purchase of British ports operator P&O would have led it to run key ports including New York and Miami. It later sold P&O's US operations.

Also on Monday, government-owned Dubai World began talks with its lenders over its request to restructure 22 billion dollars (15 billion euros) in debt. The emirate rocked global markets last month when it requested a six-month freeze on debt payments by the group in order to restructure it. However, Dubai World has stated that DP World will not be affected by the restructuring.  [23/12/09]