Intel makes first Russian investment

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Intel makes first Russian investment

Intel has made its first investment in a Russian company, and promises more such investments are to come.

Intel Capital, the company's investment division, will invest an unspecified amount in ru-Net Holdings, one of Russia's leading IT companies.

Russia has great potential in computing and communications and is a fast-growing market for Intel, said Christian Morales, the general manager of Intel's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.

The wealth of technology expertise there distinguishes the country from other emerging markets, Intel Capital vice-president Claude Leglise said.

The first investment in Russia is aimed at enabling TopS, ru-Net's system integrator business, to build software running on Intel chips.

Eastern Europe has emerged as one of the hottest markets for technology companies, with significant growth in PC and software sales, internet use and mobile communications.

The Intel deal is an indication that foreign companies are starting to see Russia as a good investment, said Robert Farish, the regional manager for Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia at research firm IDC.

Founded in 2000, ru-Net Holdings began as a venture capital firm with $20.5m (£12.6m) in assets. That year, it acquired a majority stake in Ozon.ru, Russia's leading e-retailer and a significant stake in Yandex, the top Russian language search engine and web portal. It later became an operating company in its own right and now runs an outsourcing firm and TopS.


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