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    Russian economy enters development stage - Primakov

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    Chairman of the Russian Chamber of Commerce said Monday that the Russian economy was making a transition from stabilization to development.

    TOKYO, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - Chairman of the Russian Chamber of Commerce said Monday that the Russian economy was making a transition from stabilization to development.

    Speaking at a conference Russia in the 21st Century: new investment opportunities, which opened May 29 in the Japanese capital, Yevgeny Primakov said that Russia's GDP had been steadily growing in the last seven years and registered the rate of about 6.4% in 2005, " although the transition period has not been over and is rich of discussions about the current processes."

    One of the key discussion points is how to spend the money received from oil and natural gas exports and accumulated in the Stabilization Fund, Primakov said.

    "It is obvious that the Stabilization Fund is not a 'holy cow' and should not only serve as a cushion in case of a sudden fall in oil prices or as an inheritance for future generations," he said.

    The conference in Tokyo is aimed to attract large portfolio and strategic investment in Russian economy from Japan, a source in the organizational committee said.

    "At present, Japanese investors are interested in any information about initial public offerings (IPOs) of the Russian companies on external markets, especially about Rosneft [a major state-owned oil company] shares, which the company is planning to float not only on the London and New York stock exchanges, but also in Tokyo," the source said, adding that other Russian companies, including Norilsk Nickel (RTS: GMKN, LSE: MNOD) and Rostelecom (RTS: RTKM), had the same plans.

    "The Russian securities market is heating up, and large Japanese corporations that work on financial markets, such as Nomura and Daiwa, are ready to make portfolio investments in Russian blue chips," the source said. "In that sense, the conference is like a wind that blows up their sails."

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