Russian conglomerate to pump in $6 billion in India

MUMBAI: Russian financial holding Sistema is planning to pump more than half a billion dollars into privatisation projects in India over the next few years.

Also with a view to enter the south east Asian market, Sistema, which owns Russia's No.1 cellular operator - MobileTeleSystems - is mulling over the possibility of buying an Indian mobile phone operator.

This development comes in the light of the fact that privatisation of companies has been increasingly growing in India recently. Sistema's CEO Yevgeny Novitsky was quoted in a media report saying that Indian assets were "fantastically" undervalued, and the company had $600 million to spend. Sistema has already signed a contract with almost all Indian financial-industrial groups before they enter the Indian market.

The group is looking at investing considerable funds in its media division. Sistema-Media first deputy director Nikolai Repin said that the company will invest $100 million in its multi-media services by the start of next year. At around the same time, Sistema-Media is also looking to launching Russia first interactive ADSL-based television service.

A media report said that Sistema was developing its own content as well as negotiating with Western studios.

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