TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co is set to acquire equity stakes in Russian agriculture firm Ros Agro and Moscow drugmaker R-Pharm as Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Japan this week, Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.
The report comes after Russian officials on Tuesday cautioned against expecting a breakthrough in Moscow’s territorial dispute with Tokyo when Putin visits, and proposed focusing instead on commercial deals.
Mitsui and Ros Agro will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a capital and business tie-up under which the Japanese firm is expected to invest several billion yen in London-listed Ros Agro, which deals in grains, cooking oil to meat, Nikkei said without citing sources.
Mitsui is also expected to spend 15 billion yen to 20 billion yen ($128 million-$171 million) for a roughly 10 percent stake in R-Pharm, which produces drugs under licences from pharmaceutical firms such as in India, the report said.
A Mitsui spokeswoman declined to comment.
Japan’s JGC Corp plans to sign an MOU with Russia’s Pacific island of Sakhalin on a feasibility study for building a miniature natural gas liquefaction facility, the Nikkei said.
Under the study, the facility to be built on the eastern part of the island would produce up to 12,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per annum to provide fuel for domestic households and businesses on the island, it added.
A JGC spokesman declined to comment.
A Japanese venture led by state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) announced on Wednesday it and Russia’s Irkutsk Oil Co would enter the production phase at the onshore Ichyodinskoye oilfield in the Zapadno-Yaraktinsky Block (ZY block), north of Irkutsk.
The Japanese venture in which Japan’s Inpex Corp and Itochu Corp also have stakes has a 49 percent stake in the operating firm, while the rest is held by Irkutsk Oil.
$1 = 117.1700 yen Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Stephen Coates