Russian parliament to vote on foreign investment law

 

Russia's parliament is to vote on Friday on a draft law limiting foreign investor access to key sectors including oil and gas, the media, and fishing, officials said.

 

The draft text concerns "foreign investment in companies of strategic significance for the defence and security of the state," Martin Shakkum, head of the committee bringing the law to parliament, said on Thursday.

 

This will be the second reading of a law that has raised concern among the foreign investor community in Russia as it would widen the powers of the security services in business transactions.

 

If adopted on Friday, there would be no significant changes before the third and final reading. The law then needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament before being signed into force by President Vladimir Putin.

 

Under the terms of the law, any private foreign company wanting to buy more than 50 per cent of a company in any of 42 "strategic" sectors will need authorisation from a commission made up of economic and security officials.

 

Foreign state-controlled companies will need to obtain the same permission if they plan to acquire more than 25 per cent stake in a Russian company on the list.

 

Russian newspapers said the "strategic" sectors also included the nuclear industry, aerospace, and arms building, as well as the oil and gas business, fishing and mass media. (AFP)
 
 
 
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