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Sun 13 Oct 2019 02:50 PM

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Russian sovereign wealth fund eyes joint investments with UAE, Saudi Arabia

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the UAE and Saudi Arabia this week

Russian sovereign wealth fund eyes joint investments with UAE, Saudi Arabia
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) believes there is strong potential for joint investments with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to CEO Kirill Dmitriev.

“We [jointly] invested in some opportunities outside Russia. We see [possible] cooperation in other markets, maybe China, maybe Saudi Arabia,” he told reporters ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s scheduled visit to the UAE on October 15. “It is going to be the next step forward, because a great partnership is being developed generally between Russia, UAE, China, Saudi Arabia and other partners.

Dmitriev added: “We want to invest in technology companies in the Middle East.”

Russia has already opened a Russian Centre for Digital Innovators and Information and Communication Technologies in Dubai’s Internet City, its first foray into the regional technology sector.

UAE ties

As evidence of the strong “strategic partnership” between Russia and the UAE, Dmitriev pointed to the RDIF’s ties to Mubadala.

“We have got a very good relationship with Mubadala, which invested during the past four years in four businesses in Russia that are critical to the growth of the Russian economy,” he said.

“We saw Mubadala investing four years ago during one of the difficult times of the Russian economy,’ he added. “Then they get very good returns because the Russian economy recovered and returned to normal.”

Mubadala and the RDIF have jointly invested in projects including helicopter production, petrochemical projects, logistics and a network and cancer diagnosis and treatment facilities.

“We are very impressed with what the UAE leadership has achieved during the past 10 to 15 years [in terms] of transparency of the UAE economy and professionalism of its institutions,” he added. “They have proved their capability.”

Saudi Arabia office, invesment

Last week, the RDIF announced the opening of its first foreign office in Saudi Arabia, which will conduct activities stemming from a number of ongoing agreements and platforms.

“Among them is the Russia-Saudi Investment Fund, established by RDIF and the kingdom’s sovereign fund – the Public Investment Fund – for joint investments in attractive projects,” an RDIF statement noted. “RDIF and PIF also actively cooperate within the platform for Russian-Saudi Energy Investment and the $1 billion Russian-Saudi platform for investments in the technology sector.”

To date, the two parties have funded and approved over 25 joint projects with a total investment value of more than $2.5 billion.

Saudi Arabia is expected to agree to invest approximately $2 billion during Putin’s visit this week. The two sides will announce more than 10 Saudi investment projects in Russia, including in the petrochemical and agricultural sectors.

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