Opel deal must drive Russian auto sector: PM Putin
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the deal giving state-owned Sberbank SBER03.MM a 35 percent stake in General Motors Corp's (GM.N) Opel must be woven into the overall strategy to develop the Russian auto sector.
"The Russian government has a strategy to develop the auto industry and this deal we are talking about must be incorporated into the strategy to develop the auto industry," Putin said during a meeting with government ministers.
Putin added that although the government will have no direct stake in Opel, it welcomes Sberbank's role in the deal.
Last week the German government reached an agreement to save Opel under which it would provide loan guarantees while Canada's Magna International Inc MGa.TO and Sberbank would obtain 20 percent and 35 percent stakes in the company, respectively, in exchange for capital injections.
GM would also hold 35 percent of the company, while the remaining 10 percent could belong to Opel staffers or car dealers.
Debt-laden Russian carmaker GAZ (GAZA.RTS) would also join the partnership by providing production facilities at its Nizhny Novgorod plant.
(Reporting by Dasha Korsunskaya, writing by Alfred Kueppers, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
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