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    IBM MAY BEGIN MANUFATURING IN RUSSIA

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    PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, January 30, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Dimitri Klimentov) - In 2004, IBM expects a 40% increase in the income of its operations in Russia. It also plans to increase the number of Russian personnel by 50% in the next few years, Sharon Nans, the vice president of emerging markets, told RIA Novosti.

    IBM is a world leader in information technologies and participated in the first Russian-American technological symposium at Stanford University.

    Ms. Nans stated that IBM has observed an increase in opportunities, in particular, in the field of nano-technologies. She said that IBM would work independently and with partners.

    In response to a question about the possibility of manufacturing in Russia, the vice president noted that manufacturing in Russia had not been excluded but IBM's priorities were in software services.

    According to her, wonderful changes in the political and legislative climate in Russia have occurred.

    Ms. Nans said that she considers these changes to be a good sign that the political and financial field will become more stable. This stability, she continued, makes companies like IBM and its competitors feel confident in investing in Russia.

    Ms. Nans said that IBM is a very conservative company, however, if it considers it necessary to do business somewhere, it will do it perfectly.

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