MOSCOW, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire and former director general of metals giant Norilsk Nickel, announced Thursday the launch of a $17 billion private investment fund.
The new fund, Onexim Group, set up using Prokhorov's stake in Norilsk Nickel (22%), holding company Interros (50%) and gold producer Polyus Zoloto (22%), will focus on innovation projects in traditional and hydrogen-based energy, nanotechnology and the mining and metals industries.
"We are focusing on projects where Russia has objective competitive advantages. These projects make it possible to create a principally new value for assets in Russia and to provide advantageous competitive positions for them globally," Prokhorov said.
Prokhorov said the value of the new investment fund's assets was expected to grow from the current $17 billion to $30 billion in the next two to three years.
The ex-general director also said the process of dividing assets with Vladimir Potanin, the co-owner of Interros, which is the managing company for Norilsk Nickel, would be completed by the end of 2007.