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21 Apr, 2008 04:03

Oil and gas sidelined at Russia’s UK business summit

The Russian Investment Roadshow kicked off in London on Monday at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. The two-day summit replaces the annual Russian Economic Forum.

The event opened with speeches by UK Secretary of State for Business, John Hutton, and Russian Deputy Minister of Finance, Dmitry Pankin.

Among the big hitters taking part this year are Deputy chairman of Russia’s Central Bank, Konstantin Korishenko, first vice president of EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), Varel Freeman, and the chairman of the London Stock Exchange, Chris Gibson-Smith. Other representatives of the business elite in Russian and Britain are also there.

Topping the agenda at the meeting are Russia’s business climate, the impact of Russian investments abroad and the influence of the global credit crisis.

The head of Troika Dialog Asset Management, Pavel Teplukhin, has told RT that this year's Roadshow will take the focus away from energy and resources.

“We are talking about services and the most value-added services – financial services,” he said.

Boss of investment company Antanta Capital, Evgeny Kogan, told RT that he believes cash-rich Russian firms will take advantage of the Western liquidity crisis by hunting for takeover targets in London.

“Just now I see very good possibilities for Russian businesses to buy firms that are, may be, in some troubles in Europe,” Kogan said.