MOSCOW Russian industrial and defense conglomerate Rostec is close to signing an agreement with Bombardier (BBDb.TO) to assemble the Canadian plane maker's Q400 aircraft in Russia, Rostec said on Wednesday.
A Bombardier spokesman declined to comment on discussions the company may be having with foreign companies, but he reiterated Bombardier's previous statement that it had no plans to move Q400 production out of Toronto.
Sergei Chemezov, head of the state-owned company formerly known as Russian Technologies, said in February that it was in talks with Bombardier over a possible joint venture to build the 70- to 80-seat aircraft in Russia.
Russia's Vedomosti newspaper wrote on Wednesday that the talks had stalled but an agreement of intent might still be signed at the MAKS airshow in Moscow this month.
A Rostec spokesman said the company had not left the talks and the signing is expected "in the near future", though he could not provide details.
Chemezov estimated in February that the investment in the project would be about $100 million.
Rostec harbors hopes of breaking into the medium-range aircraft market in Russia, which international manufacturers such as Boeing (BA.N), Airbus EAD.PA and Bombardier view as an important growth market.
(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Writing by Megan Davies; Editing by David Goodman and John Wallace)