Rostelecom, 51% owned by Russia’s state-run telecoms giant Svyazinvest, has revealed it will hold capital spending flat at between RUB8.5 and RUB9billion (USD237-USD251 million) for 2009, reports Reuters. The operator will finance capex from its own funds but did not rule out the possibility of taking out loans to fund any acquisitions. CEO Konstantin Solodukhin said Rostelecom was currently examining possible acquisition targets, with around 30 broadband internet providers on the list. Of the 30 companies under consideration, Rostelecom is conducting due diligence on four of the companies, he said, without indicating whether Sky Link, controlled by billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s Sistema holding, was among them. The operator is also ready to buy telecoms assets in Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan if they are privatised this year, said Solodukhin, while it is also interested in China, India and the Middle East.