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Hyundai to build $400 mln car plant in northwest Russia -2

(Adds quote, details on the deal in para 3)

ST. PETERSBURG, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - South Korean auto giant Hyundai has signed a deal with St. Petersburg authorities to build a $400 mln car factory in the northwest Russian city, a spokeswoman for the governor said on Monday.

Natalia Kutobayeva said the agreement was signed during an official visit by St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko to Seoul.

"Today, during a meeting with Hyundai President Chung Mong-koo in Seoul, Matviyenko signed a protocol on establishing a Hyundai car assembly facility in St. Petersburg. Korean investors are planning to invest $400 million in the production facility, which will produce about 100,000 cars per year," the St. Petersburg government said in a statement.

With rapidly rising purchasing power in Russia, foreign auto makers are seeking to expand their presence in the country.

A number of foreign companies, including auto giants U.S.-based Ford Motor Company, Germany's Volkswagen, Japan's Toyota, and France's Renault have either opened or are building plants in Russia.

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