Moscow — Russian developers who had hoped to be able to co-invest in Moscow’s planned $50bn programme to resettle almost a million residents will only be involved as contractors, the city’s deputy mayor said. Residential property developers, which include firms such as PIK, LSR and Etalon, have been hit hard by Russia’s economic downturn, with some struggling to sell apartments they have built and burdened with debt. Sales fell by as much as 30% in 2015 and although the market started to recover last year, Moscow’s resettlement plan, which aims to move almost a tenth of its population out of ageing low-rise flats known as "khrushchyovki", had been seen as a potential lifeline. In previous smaller city programmes, property companies were able to sell some of the flats in a block in exchange for building it and had hoped this approach would be used again. "There will be no developers... Those who have construction facilities can take part in a tender and in the event of victory will g...

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