Oil and Gas

Russia's PM Putin to meet U.S. businessmen

MOSCOW, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will meet several top U.S. executives on Friday, including General Electric Co GE.N and Morgan Stanley MS.N, the Russian government said on Thursday.

Putin's meetings with top Western executives are usually a precursor of major business deals. Earlier this year oil majors Total TOTF.PA and Royal Dutch/Shell RDSa.L announced plans to expand in Russia at meetings with Putin.

Talks with the U.S. firms follow a U.S. government decision to halt the deployment of a missile shield defence system in Europe, a move received positively by the Russian government. [ID:nLH510988]

The press service said Putin would meet David Bonderman, founding partner of one of the world's largest private equity firms, TPG [TPG.UL], and the chief executive of General Electric Co GE.N, Jeff Immelt.

Putin will meet the executives in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, which is hosting an investment forum. He will also hold talks with John Mack, who is to quit as CEO of Morgan Stanley MS.N at the start of 2010.

Last week, sources told Reuters that TPG, formerly known as Texas Pacific Group, and the private equity arm of Russian state bank VTB VTBR.MM bought a large stake in Russian hypermarket chain Lenta. [ID:nL7551568]

General Electric has announced plans to build new plants in Russia, while Morgan Stanley has had a continuous investment banking presence in the country since 1994. [ID:nLH949967] (Reporting by Gleb Bryanski; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Simon Jessop)