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MOSCOW, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Venture capital funds have nurtured Russia's national innovation system, said a top official with state-owned Russia Venture Company.

Russia's venture market was the fastest-growing market in Europe, and ranked fourth in Europe in 2012 in terms of numbers, chief executive officer of the company, Igor Agamirzian, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Established in 2006 by the Russian government, the company serves as an incubator for high-tech startups in the country as well as a channel to the venture capital.

With more venture capital flowing into such fields as digital automatized production, alternative energy, and biotechnology, Russia gradually improved its national innovation system, he said.

The venture market also witnessed an increase of professionals participating in the sector, who brought with them expertise, he noted.

Agamirzian said that most of the venture capital in Russia was invested in the internet industry and electronic technologies, with electronic commerce attracting about half of the venture capital, while other sectors are under-invested.

He did not see online social networks as a promising sector for investment. "New projects in that sector would hardly be as successful and large-scale as they used to be 10 years ago," he noted.

He suggested that the venture investors should focus on the sectors promising explosive growth in a few years later, instead of short-term interest.

"This is like shooting a moving target. If you point at today, you'll hit yesterday; if you want to hit tomorrow, you've got to point at the day after tomorrow," he said.

The prospects of development and breakthrough of technological progress lie in an area where "information technologies and real life's objectives overlap," he suggested.

Agamirzian also admitted that Russia's venture capital market is not mature enough, as there was no "chain reaction" following the first successful projects, which would allow investors to emulate the successful examples.

Besides the domestic high-tech sector, Agamirzian's company also targeted global market and invested in a number of global projects, he said, adding that the mutual interests exist between Russia and China though there was no real cooperation between them right now.

"I think Chinese technological companies will inevitably come to the Russian market. This will be a win-win situation," he concluded.

SANTIAGO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Three Colo Colo youth academy players died and several others were injured in a road accident in western Argentina, the Chilean club said on Friday.

The accident occurred in the Andean mountain ranges near the city of Mendoza as the team was travelling by bus to Paraguay for a tournament.

Local authorities said they were investigating the cause of the crash.

Colo Colo, Chile's most successful club with 32 first division titles, expressed solidarity with families of the victims.

"We send a fraternal hug and our condolences to the families, friends and all the members of the school," the club said in a statement.

Chiles's football federation also offered its support on social media.

"We deeply regret the death of the three young Chilean athletes involved in the tragic accident."

Colo Colo and Chile national team playmaker Jorge Valdivia said on Twitter: "I want to send my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the boys at the school of Colo-Colo Lo Boza who died in this tragic accident. It hurts in my soul the loss of these three who were Colocolinos [Colo-Colo fans] at heart."

SHANGHAI, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. announced Friday that three technology subsidiaries have recently completed private placement financing, which received positive responses particularly from international institutional investors.

Ping An Healthcare and Technology Company Limited has completed a pre-IPO financing of 400 million U.S. dollars before the company seeks IPO at Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, another subsidiary, Ping An Medical and Healthcare Management Co., Ltd, raised 1.15 billion U.S. dollars in A-round financing. OneConnect Financial Technology Co., LTD conducted an A round financing and raised 650 million U.S. dollars, according to the statement.

Financing of the three subsidiaries received positive responses, particularly from international institutional investors, including the SoftBank Vision Fund, International Digital Group (IDG), and SBI Group, showing their confidence on China's healthtech and fin-tech market, it said.

Kentaro Matsui, who led the investments by the SoftBank Vision Fund, said that China is a dynamic and emerging economy with the largest healthtech market worldwide, and the SoftBank Vision Fund sees tremendous growth potential for this sector.

At present, Ping An Healthcare and Technology Company Limited, also known as Ping An Good Doctor, has over 190 million registered users and more than 30 million monthly active users. It provides online health advice and information for the public.

OneConnect has provided more than 2,300 financial institutions (including over 420 banks) with financial technology solutions so far.

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