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Gulftainer inks Russian ports and logistics jv

Gulftainer inks Russian ports and logistics jv

Sharjah: UAE port and logistics group Gulftainer is to assess a raft of acquisitions in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) through its new joint venture with Prominvest, a financial and investment arm of Russian state corporation Russian Technologies.

Gulftainer and the Moscow-based Prominvest signed a deal last week at the Black Sea port of Sochi in the presence of Russian premier Vladimir Putin to set up joint venture Gulftainer Russian Technologies, which will also launch a $500 million fund for port and logistics asset acquisitions.

Keith Nuttall, Gulftainer's Group Commercial Manager, defined the ambit of new acquisition activity as mainly Russia and the CIS, which could imply, for example, further Black Sea targets in Romania and Bulgaria. He said the company was exploring various avenues with its new Russian counterparts and that the deal had "huge scope and potential for development."

"This agreement firmly establishes the commitment of our organisations to develop and expand supply chain logistics in the Russian Federation," said Prominvest ceo Mikhail Shelkov.

A number of port assets have already been identified by the partners, WAM, the official UAE news agency said, which for commercial reasons are not being disclosed at this stage.

International investors are limbering up to bring the benefits of the explosive growth in container traffic to Mother Russia, which has the world's longest coastline. The acquisition of a local joint venture partner is likely to stand Gulftainer in good stead as it embarks upon the next phase of its expansion. With major sea ports on the Azov, Black, Caspian, Baltic, White and Barents Seas as well as the Pacific Ocean, those who can help upgrade Russia's port infrastructure are likely to reap rich rewards.  [22/09/10]