* German firm keen to grow minority stake
* Not interested in majority control in near term
* Has green light from Russian regulators
(Adds Daimler comment, detail, shares)
STUTTGART, Germany/MOSCOW, March 19 German
truckmaker Daimler is keen to expand its minority
stake in Russia's Kamaz gradually over the next four
years and will not seek majority control in the short term, the
head of its trucks division said on Monday.
The company, which owns 15 percent of Kamaz alongside the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), has
been given the green light by Russian regulators to increase its
stake to at least a blocking level of 25 percent.
"Don't expect that we are interested in a majority stake in
the short term. We will expand the 15 percent stake... over the
next 3-4 years, depending on the economic development and the
valuation of Kamaz," Daimler Trucks chief Andreas Renschler told
reporters in Stuttgart.
Kamaz shares closed up 6.5 percent to 48.8 roubles, adding
to a 30 percent rise in the year to date, valuing it at 34.5
billion roubles ($1.18 billion).
"Kamaz has an enormous need for new technology, so we need
to sit down with them over time and consider ... what technology
exactly fits. One of the biggest challenges for a manufacturer
remains the supplier base, which is still underdeveloped in
Russia," Renschler added.
Daimler has targeted emerging markets including Russia as
the main driver of future growth.
The group has the right of refusal for a 10 percent stake
from investment bank Troika Dialog, now part of biggest state
lender Sberbank. The Russian Technologies state
conglomerate is also a potential seller of part of its 49.9
($1 = 29.2075 Russian roubles)
(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner and Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by
John Bowker; Editing by Lidia Kelly)