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Financial Corporation "Sistema"

May 20, 2004

Business and academic experts set non-resource development as Russian priority

Moscow, Tuesday - The new Russian government needs to quickly turn its attention to the task of encouraging greater development in the non resource-dependent sectors of the national economy, business and academic experts attending a private sector policy round table said today. The event, organized by the Association of Russian Economic Think Tanks (ARETT) and JSFC Sistema, was convened to discuss future prospects for technology, services, manufacturing and other sectors unrelated to the booming raw materials economy. Alexei Buyanov, First Vice President and Head of the Finance and Investment at Sistema, pointed out that the time for non raw material sectors has arrived. "Companies in the services sector will be the most profitable on the stock market during upcoming 10 years," Mr. Buyanov predicted. "Russian telecom, retail, food and cosmetic companies are going to secure growing investor interest. This is already confirmed by recent `non-resource` IPOs and many of the announced IPO plans. Future prospects look very positive," he said. Leonid Grigoriev, president of ARETT, stressed that Russia has a unique opportunity to use the advantages of high oil prices on the world market to channel extra revenues into structural change in the economy. Only in this way would it be able to ensure the competitiveness of the national economy, he said. The new government needs also actively to promote innovative activities to help the nation catch up with the latest technological developments. Vladimir Rudashevsky, deputy chairman of the industrial committee of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, recommended that policy-makers focus on specific, well-defined projects for support, rather than economic sectors or industries. He said such projects could help guide the big Russian holding companies in their investment strategies. While speakers differed on the precise tactics needed, there was broad consensus that non-resource development and ncouragement needs to become a government priority. About Sistema: JSFC Sistema is one of Russia`s largest diversified holding companies with total assets exceeding US$5.5 billion. Founded in 1993, Sistema currently owns and actively manages a diversified portfolio of assets in the following sectors: telecommunications (MTS, MGTS, MTU-Inform, Telmos, Golden Line, Comstar and others), technology (Mikron, STROM Telecom, Sitronics), insurance (ROSNO), finance and securities (MBRD), real estate (Sistema-Hals), travel services (Intourist), retail (Detsky Mir) and others. Sistema as a company has become a leading advocate of conditions encouraging growth and diversification of Russia`s economy. Additional information is available at Olga Pestereva, Sistema press service (Moscow) Tel: +7 095 730 1705 e-mail: Andrei Bliznyuk, Sistema IR department (Moscow) Tel: +7 095 730 1543 e-mail: Fred Harrison, Ansdell Associates (London) Tel: +44 (0)207 431 7517 e-mail:




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