MOSCOW ó Middle Eastern and Chinese heavyweights are interested in investing in Russia via a new direct investment fund expected to be worth up to $10 billion and co-funded by Moscow, a top state banker said on Tuesday.
“We have had a fairly positive response from the biggest private investment funds and sovereign funds,” Vladimir Dmitriyev, head of state development bank VEB, told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“In particular from the Abu Dhabi fund, from the China Investment Corporation, from a number of private funds,” Dmitriyev said
Medvedev, who admits Russia’s investment climate is poor, has called for the creation of the direct investment fund by the middle of this year as part of his drive to modernise the economy and diversify away from oil and gas.
Russia has called on top investment banks such as Goldman Sachs to be involved in the project. When Medvedev aired the idea in the summer, he suggested the state could put in a quarter of the cash, but the parameters have yet to be finalised.
“Foreign investors understand that one of the principles of the creation of this fund is co-investment, and they are ready for that,” Dmitriyev told Medvedev, according to a transcript published on the Kremlin’s Web site.
On the state side, the money could come from Russia’s $91 billion National Welfare Fund. —