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Wed 5 Jun 2019 09:26 AM

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Russia's sovereign wealth fund eyes $2bn investments with Saudi Arabia in 2019

The Russian Direct Investment Fund has studied over 400 national infrastructure projects open to foreign investments

Russia's sovereign wealth fund eyes $2bn investments with Saudi Arabia in 2019
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) CEO KIrill Dmitriev

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund and its Saudi partners are looking at 25 new projects with plans to invest more than $2 billion in 2019, according to Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriev. 

In an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Argaam news outlet, Dmitriev said that Russia hopes that Saudi investors will invest in a number of national projects as part of an initiative launched by President Vladimir Putin to modernise the Russian economy.

“At the RDIF we studied over 400 individual projects which can potentially become part of national projects and concluded that at least 30 percent of the total funding can be replaced with funds from private investors,” he said. 

“We believe that through the effective participation of private investors, these projects will become much more efficient,” Dmitriev added. 

In the interview, Dmitriev outlined a number of national infrastructure projects being funded with foreign - including Saudi - investment, including a toll bypass for one of Moscow’s busiest avenues and water processing infrastructure. 

Additionally, the RDIF and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are working on nine projects in the oilfield servicing and refining sector, freight transportation, railroad logistics and IT.

“Overall, RDIF and Saudi partners are looking at 25 new projects and are planning to invest over $2 billion this year,” Dmitriev said. 

Among the projects under review, Dmitriev added, are oil technology projects, the production of insulin and vaccines by Russian companies in Saudi Arabia, the construction of healthcare centres and joint projects in space exploration. 

In January, the RDIF announced plans to multiply the number of investment deals with Saudi Arabia “by several times” in 2019. 

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