Tel Aviv-listed Baran Group is setting up a joint venture in Germany with Nokia (NYSE:NOK), has learned.

Baran chief executive Meir Dor said that an announcement can be expected within a week.

The Baran Group is the biggest engineering concern in Israel. It provides engineering services and turnkey projects to communications and other industries, from chemicals to infrastructure and construction.

On October 17 Baran announced a deal with Siemens, to build turnkey communications networks around the world for the conglomerate's mobile communications division. has learned that part of the deal is for Siemens to recommend Baran's participation in relevant projects.

Siemens will be providing the communications equipment, while Baran will be locating sites and handling licensing, construction and installation.

On other fronts, Dor said Baran is bidding independently, not as part of a group, in engineering tenders published by Germany and an east European country.

He added that the global slowdown has not affected Baran's business. If anything, he said, Baran may shortly announce the acquisition of a majority stake in a United States firm, now that prices have become more 'comfortable'. Previous efforts to acquire an American company fell through because of price issues, Dor said.

Baran reported 2000 sales turnover of $210 million. It estimates that 2001 revenues will be about $240 million, according to its website.