MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government approved a bill on Thursday easing foreign investment in strategic sectors of the economy.
“The bill aims to simplify the procedure for considering foreign investors’ applications and removing administrative barriers impeding foreign investment in the Russian economy,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
The bill removes the requirement for foreign investors to get preliminary approval for deals involving federal subsoil deposits if these sites are either directly or indirectly half-owned by the state and "this balance will not be undermined as a result of these transactions," he said.
Such approval will also be unnecessary for foreign investors who already own 75 percent of Russian strategic companies. Consent will no longer be required for the purchase of additional share packages, if these deals do not change the level of control over strategic enterprises (meaning the control thresholds of 25 percent, 50 percent or 75 percent are not breached).
Transactions as part of a reorganization within holding companies will no longer be controlled by the government foreign investment commission.
Existing foreign investment control procedures will also no longer apply to companies owned by sub-federal authorities. Investors will be allowed to extend the duration of preliminary deal approvals previously made by the government foreign investment commission.
Foreign investment in food enterprises, including dairy plants, will also no longer require preliminary approval.