After Gulf, Egypt sets sight on Russia for investments

The Gulf News, 09.02.2015

Russian fund planning to pour billions of dollars as investments in Egypt

By Siddesh Suresh Mayenkar, Staff Reporter Published: 17:24 February 10, 2015 Gulf News

Dubai: Russia plans to invest ‘billions of dollars’ in Egypt in the next couple of years, a top official at Russia’s leading sovereign wealth fund told Gulf News, after Egypt sought similar investments from Gulf countries.

Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) was part of the delegation led by Russian president Vladimir Putin, the first visit to Egypt in a decade comes after a popular uprising in 2011.

Russia is trying to reach out to the Arab world’s most populous country at a time when Cairo-Washington ties remain frayed.

The agreement was signed between RDIF and Egyptian Ministry of Investment in the presence of President Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The agreement would involve exchanging expertise in fund establishment, the co-investment model, its management structure, and the investment strategy. RDIF will also provide support in attracting other international investors to the fund by implementing its own experience in establishing partnerships.

“We are willing to invest in various interesting projects with our partners. As for the attractive sectors to invest in I would highlight transport infrastructure and agriculture sectors which have the potential to generate most promising returns. Some major opportunities exist in the energy sector as well,” Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) told Gulf News.

“The only thing we can do now is to attract some of our partners to the region — together with RDIF they have already invested and committed over $7bn in the Russian economy. RDIF also attracted over $15 billion of foreign capital into the Russian economy through long-term strategic partnerships,” he added.

RDIF is a $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) fund established by the Russian government to make equity investments.

“Egypt provides us with huge space for investments. The agreement that we have signed is to help set up a fund for our investors who would want to invest in Egypt and invest in projects, which are promising and this would attract much more capital into their economy,” said Dmitriev.

There have been positive discussions with the Egyptian officials on investments in on infrastructure, nuclear energy along with agriculture because Egypt is one of the big importers of grains in the world, said Dmitriev.

“The initial investments would come from various government companies and then from the private companies like Lukoil, which is the biggest oil companies, and already has projects in Egypt,” said Dmitriev.