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    Russian print media upping investor pull factor, official says

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    MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's press market is booming and attractive to both domestic and foreign investors, a senior federal media official said Thursday.

    "Major publishing houses are nearing the point of breaking the $1-billion capitalization mark," said Mikhail Seslavinsky, who heads the Federal Agency for Print and Mass Media. "They are entering the IPO market, ... which shows that the Russian media business is attractive to domestic and foreign investors."

    Seslavinsky was presenting a report on the Russian periodicals market in 2006 to journalists, and said it was the second annual report his agency had released jointly with leading publishing houses and consulting companies.

    He said the number of registered print media outlets was approaching 53,000 this year, including 26,500 newspapers and 18,500 magazines.

    Seslavinsky also highlighted dynamic growth in media advertising.

    "In 2005, we published record high figures, which form the economic basis for the development of Russian printed media," he said. "Advertising profits were $1.39 billion, retail sales of periodicals accounted for $1.20 billion and subscriptions yielded $570 million."

    Seslavinsky said the figures were impressive, and showed that newspapers and magazines in Russia formed a serious media industry that was attractive for investment.

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