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St. Petersburg RussiaFRANKFURT: July 31, 2016. Fraport AG has sold 10.5 percent of its 35.5 percent stake in Cyprus-registered Thalita Trading to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) - also owner of Qatar Airways.

Thalita is the parent company of the Northern Capital Gateway consortium that has a 30-year concession to operate Pulkovo Airport St. Petersburg, Russia's third-largest airport (right).

Fraport expects a profit of €30-€40 million from the deal that will complete in the second half of 2016. The company said it would continue as an airport operator at Pulkovo as QIA increases its stake in Thalita to 24.99 percent.

In 2013 the consortium opened a new passenger terminal at Pulkovo to handle 17 million passengers a year.

Commenting on the sale Fraport AG executive board chairman Stefan Schulte said: "Pulkovo has developed well since the operating concession started. In selling part of our stake, we are realizing value enhancement while maintaining our role in the consortium."

Schulte added that the QIA would broaden the consortium's shareholder base and strengthen Pulkovo Airport to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future. "Despite the current difficulties in Russia, we continue to regard this as an attractive market," he added.

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