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Russia's largest car producer AvtoVAZ will postpone a share placement scheduled
Russia's largest car producer AvtoVAZ will postpone a share placement scheduled for this fall until the first half of 2009, the chairman of the board said on Wednesday.

Sergei Chemezov told journalists: "This is more likely to happen in 2009, in the first half of the year I hope."

He did not specify the number of shares to be placed.

Ruben Vardanyan, the head of investment group Troika Dialog, financial consultants to AvtoVAZ, said earlier that the car manufacturer planned to float up to 25% in Moscow this fall.

AvtoVAZ shares are traded on Russia's two largest bourses, RTS and MICEX.

Last spring the company closed a deal to sell a 25% stake plus one share to French-Japanese auto giant Renault-Nissan for $1 billion.

The parties signed a strategic partnership agreement focusing on interaction in developing new technology and joint marketing campaigns.

In the first six months of 2008, AvtoVAZ shareholders - state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and Troika Capital Partners investment - are expected to complete procedures to end the plant's cross-ownership structure and consolidate 75% plus one share. The 25% stake was transferred to Renault from these shares.

AvtoVAZ, based in Togliatti in the Volga Region and known internationally for its Lada brand, sold a record 663,500 cars in 2007, raising its net profit 57.3% year-on-year to 3.95 billion rubles ($166 million). The company plans to roll out 1.5 million cars annually by 2015.


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