Russia's largest steel maker Severstal is eying expansion into Asia with investment plans of up over $6 billion even as its US investments are expected to top $6 billion by the end of 2009.
Severstal is planning to invest more than $6 billion to boost its steel production in Asia, despite signs of slowing demand in the global steel industry and a deepening of the financial crisis, the Financial Times said in a report.
''Severstal would be prepared to invest more than $6 billion to start a steel production operation in an expanding Asian country in the next few years, possibly in India, Indonesia, Thailand, or Vietnam,'' the report quoted Severstal chief executive Alexei Mordashov as saying.
It would be Severstal's first manufacturing foray outside its main production bases in Russia, western Europe and the US.
Severstal, however, said it would continue investing in the US. ''We believe that we should continue investing in the US. Total investment will hit around $6 billion by the end of next year," Mordashov told an annual session of the US-Russian Business Council in Washington.
Severstal, which bought Esmark Inc in August, is currently in the process of finalising a deal to buy PBS Coals Corporation (PBS) in the US.
Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Severstal, Esmark has already been renamed the Severstal Wheeling Holding Company.
In July 2008, Severstal acquired a 100 per cent stake in WCI Steel Inc.
Severstal accounts for over 16 per cent of Russian steel production and has production facilities in the United States, Italy, France, the UK, and Ukraine.