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25 марта 2008 Новапорт

Novaport Plans $1 Billion Russian Airport Spending

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Novaport, Russian entrepreneur Roman Trotsenko's regional-airport investment company, will spend more than $1 billion in the next five years on infrastructure to encourage growth in travel and air shipments. Novaport will invest about $600 million upgrading Tolmachevo airport in the Siberian town of Novosibirsk, Chief Executive Officer Alexei Vasilchenko said today in an interview in Moscow. Novaport will also invest in airports in Chelyabinsk, Chita, Tomsk and Barnaul, in which it owns various stakes. ``Buying a share in an airport means buying a ticket for investment projects'' surrounding the site, Vasilchenko said. The figures include spending on hotels, business centers and shopping malls in addition to passenger and cargo terminals. Russia, the world's 10th-largest economy and a country spanning 11 time zones, must spend 4.8 percent of gross domestic product developing transportation infrastructure, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said yesterday. The government will contribute less than half of that figure and expects the remainder to come from private businesses, he said. Oleg Deripaska, Russia's richest man, and Viktor Vekselberg, its ninth-richest, are already investing in regional airports. Deripaska's assets include the airport serving the Black Sea resort of Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Vekselberg is developing the airport at Yekaterinburg, the home of Russia's third-biggest copper-producing company. Commercial-Unit Revenue Developing infrastructure around airports will significantly shorten the time needed to recoup investments, Vasilchenko said. Novaport expects that 40 percent of the airports' revenue will come from commercial operations in the next four to five years, compared with 10 percent now. Growing leisure travel and businesses in Russia's regions will help fill the additional airport capacity, he said. ``Such investment is crucial as no one has paid attention to the regional infrastructure for a long time,'' Viktor Gorbachev, head of the Russian Association of Airports, said today in a telephone interview. Russia is served by more than 300 airports, which last year handled about 60 million passengers, Gorbachev said. Moscow's three airports of Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo accounted for more than half of the traffic. The number of airports in Russia is now about one-fourth of the figure in 1990 and it continues to shrink, Gorbachev said. Novaport plans to buy stakes in three more airports in Russia and other former Soviet countries, Vasilchenko said, declining to specify locations. The company plans to oversee assets of 10 airports, he said. Novaport may also decide in 2012 on an initial public offering of as much as 25 percent of its stock, Vasilchenko said. Novaport is a unit of Trotsenko's Aeon Corp., which includes assets in shipbuilding, telecommunications and real estate development.

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