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19 Oct, 2009 02:51

Public-Private Partnerships to step into funding gaps

Russia's government will pass a law next year which guarantees the rights of investors in public-private partnerships. It hopes the move will attract funds to rescue companies threatened by bankruptcy.

Public-private partnerships in the West have been constructing the likes of hospitals, schools and roads for more than 40 years. Investors build or run the infrastructure, for a share of the profits. Some P3s have proved lucrative for private partners, some disastrous. But Russia now wants them to kick-start investment, according to Evgeny Glumov, Head of PPP support, at Vegas Lex.

“A federal law next year will for the first time lay out investor rights in P3s. That should bring funds into all parts of the economy.” 

Aleksey Savelyev, Deputy CEO, Financial and Organizational Consulting, says new private money is the only thing that will save many firms from going to the wall.

“For companies brought to their knees by the crisis, P3s are a last hope.”

Demand for fresh finance at the moment is vast, and desperate.

Top business daily Kommersant has 4 pages of news, and 27 pages of bankrupt firms selling their assets. Safes, tractors, railway lines are all for sale. Despite spending more of its reserves in the crisis than any other nation, the government needs private cash to rebuild the country.

Russia remains fairly unattractive for investors. Last week saw a year's best 188 million dollars of inflows to national funds. That's two and half times less, than rival emerging economies like Brazil.