MOSCOW - Globaltrans Investment, Russia's largest private rail freight operator, will ask shareholders to approve a doubling of the company's share capital to finance growth opportunities, the company said on Friday.

Globaltrans said in September that Russian rail freight shipments should stabilise or rise in the second half of 2009 after the country's first recession in a decade send them sharply downward.

The company will hold an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on Nov. 23 on the share capital increase.

The post-crisis market may offer us interesting opportunities for both organic and non-organic growth which we may want to finance by issuing new equity, Alexander Eliseev, chairman of the board of directors of Globaltrans, said in the company's statement.

Globaltrans wants to invest in new wagons to deliver more freight from Russian steel mills, which accounted for 60 percent of all cargo carried in the first six months of 2009.

Favourable prices of new railcars along with the recovering railway transportation industry have created a good investment environment for Globaltrans in which we will resume with our CAPEX programme, Eliseev said (Reporting by Dmitry Sergeyev; editing by Karen Foster)