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Posted: March 11, 2010

Russian Nanotechnology Corporation Considers $1.7 Billion Bond Sale

(Nanowerk News) Russian Nanotechnologies Corp., the state holding company known as Rusnano, plans to sell the equivalent of $1.7 billion in bonds beginning in the third quarter to fund expansion and new projects.
The bonds will be similar to quasi-sovereign bonds “because the state will guarantee them,” Chief Executive Officer Anatoly Chubais said in an interview in Singapore today. “We’ll start to do this in the third quarter of this year, and our target amount is $1.7 billion.”
Moscow-based Rusnano plans to raise debt of about $6 billion to help expand Russia’s nanotechnology industry to about $30 billion in annual revenues by 2015, Chubais said. The company received $4.4 billion from the government three years ago to co-finance innovation projects.
Chubais headed a Rusnano delegation that arrived in Singapore today for two days of meetings with government officials and private business leaders. Rusnano wants to establish contacts with “applicants for nanotechnology projects,” and chose Singapore because it’s a “leader” in technology and innovation, Chubais said.
Russia is spending 318 billion rubles ($10.8 billion) to develop its nanotechnology industry as President Dmitry Medvedev tries to wean the country off its reliance on commodity exports. Medvedev said on Oct. 6 that Russia had the world’s biggest state fund dedicated to developing nanotechnology.
Joint-Stock Company
Standard & Poor’s in June issued Rusnano with a ??+ credit rating, its highest non-investment grade. At the time Rusnano said the move was “aimed at expanding Rusnano’s potential for attracting investors, including credit and financial organizations.”
Rusnano will convert to a so-called joint-stock company after it receives permission from the presidential administration, which is expected to come within one to two weeks, Chubais said.
Arkady Dvorkovich, Medvedev’s top economic adviser, said in November that three state corporations -- Rusnano, Russian Technologies Corp. and VEB, the state development bank -- may be transformed into state-controlled joint-stock companies as early as 2010.
Rusnano was established in 2007 by the Russian government to foster the development of nanotechnologies and support their commercialization, according to the company’s Web site.
Nanotechnology is the study of the controlling of matter on an atomic and molecular scale and is used to develop new materials for use in medicine, electronics and energy production.
Some of Rusnano’s projects include making drugs to combat age-related diseases and cancer, and electronic units for use in digital televisions, the company said.
Source: Bloomberg News (Katrina Nicholas)
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