RDIF sees UAE, Saudi Arabian investors’ interest in Arctic Palladium project, says CEO

ТАSS, 20.11.2019

MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) sees the interest of investors from United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in Arctic Palladium, a project implemented by Norilsk Nickel and Russian Platinum, RDIF's Chief Executive Officer Kirill Dmitriev said in an interview aired by the Rossiya-24 TV news channel on the sidelines of the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" on Wednesday.

"We see a major interest from the side of UAE and Saudi Arabian investors in that project," he noted.

Arctic Palladium is an example of a project extremely promising for Russia, which demonstrates high yield, concurrently creating many jobs, Dmitriev said. "We obviously consider that a very interesting, very promising project, virtually the world’s biggest platinum-group project. It is very important that Nornickel’s existing infrastructure is used, which allows sharply reducing expenditures on construction of new infrastructure," he explained.

In February 2018, Norilsk Nickel and Russian Platinum signed an agreement on strategic partnership to set up a joint venture for further development of ore deposits of the Norilsk industrial region. The Arctic Palladium joint venture was registered in the summer of 2018. The contribution of Norilsk Nickel to the JV’s authorized capital will be the license to develop the Maslovskoye deposit, while the contribution of Russian Platinum will be the license to develop the southern part of the Norilsk-1 deposit and the Chernogorskoye deposit. It was planned that the companies would own the joint venture on a parity basis.

Impact of easing of US-China tensions on oil price

The easing of US-China trade tensions will positively influence the global oil market, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) told reporters.

"We believe that the fact that the United States and China just made positive steps to ease trade tensions may signify the growth of oil demand next year, which will obviously have a positive impact on prices," he said.

The agreement on reduction of crude production volumes between OPEC and non-OPEC nations is aimed at stabilizing global oil prices and bringing the oil market into balance, Dmitriev added.

"There is a tool of necessity, which has already highlighted that at some point it can reduce output, at some point it can boost production, which is why obviously the instrument is fully ready for any situation on the market of demand," he explained.

RDIF CEO refused to project which decision would be made at the upcoming OPEC+ meeting in early December. However, he emphasized that the OPEC+ monitoring committee would provide respective recommendations based on the data on the current demand on crude markets.