Russia's Gref says $560 mln will be allocated on venture co.


IZHEVSK, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's economics minister said Friday 15 billion rubles ($560 mln) would be allocated from the Investment Fund to set up a state-owned venture company.

"We have decided to take money [for the purpose] from the Investment Fund and return it in 2007-2009," German Gref said adding the fund, set up in 2005 to develop infrastructure projects with public and private financing, would have "spare money" this year.

The money will be invested in the charter capital of the company, which will finance venture funds. The funds, which will also have private financing, will invest in new, high-tech companies. Media reports said eight to 15 venture funds could be created.

The project is designed to diversify the Russian economy, which is heavily reliant on oil and natural gas prices, and encourage investment in the innovation sector.

President Vladimir Putin said in early July that a pilot investment fund for information technologies would be set up to support companies working in the sphere for three years.

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