RDIF and Mubadala announce successful exit from investments tackling “digital inequality” across Russia

Press release, 21.02.2020

Moscow, February 21, 2020 – The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund, announce a successful exit from their joint investment in the project to eliminate “digital inequality” in Russia’s regions. The project is being implemented in partnership with Rostelecom since the end of 2014. RDIF and Mubadala are now exiting from the project as it reaches the end of its investment period.

By the end of 2019, over the project’s 5 years, 11.1 thousand access points providing free broadband Internet were commissioned in 83 regions across Russia, and to do so over 85 thousand km of fiber-optic communication lines were successfully laid. The project has already resulted in significant positive effects for the lives of over 3.2 million people in those regions. The project is being implemented in accordance with the instructions of the Russian President and the Federal Law “On Communications” to provide Russia’s rural settlements (those with a population of 250-500 people) with modern communication services.

By the end of 2019, the following had been commissioned:

  • 3808 access points to free broadband Internet in the Volga Federal District;
  • 2402 access points - in the Central Federal District;
  • 1506 access points - in the Siberian Federal District;
  • 1040 access points - in the Ural Federal District;
  • 1036 access points - in the Southern and North Caucasian Federal Districts;
  • 829 access points - in the Northwestern Federal District;
  • 486 access points - in the Far Eastern Federal District.

Over the past three years, the total Internet traffic and the number of Internet sessions under the project has been increasing more than two times annually. By the end of 2019, more than 66.7 million Internet sessions were recorded, the data traffic amounted to 11 TB.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said:

“The project to eliminate “digital inequality” is an example of successfully focusing infrastructure investments in order to digitalise the whole country, in line with the National Goals and Strategic Objectives approved by the Russian President. Funds, attracted from foreign investors and the National Wealth Fund (NWF) to finance the project, made it possible to accelerate the process of connecting small towns to the Internet.

We believe that further active use of the NWF's secured recouped investments in Russia's infrastructure will significantly accelerate economic growth in the country. RDIF's experience shows that the NWF funds can be invested efficiently with a yield that is 30% higher than that of US treasuries. The success of the project to eliminate “digital inequality” demonstrates the efficiency of the mechanism developed by RDIF in attracting private investments into infrastructure. We will continue to use our accumulated experience to improve existing mechanisms and develop new ones for attracting private investments, including for the purposes of achieving the goals for the National Projects concerning healthcare, transport, industry, education, environmental issues and other areas.”

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Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 70 projects with foreign partners totaling more than RUB1.5 tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF’s portfolio of companies employs more than 800,000 people and generates revenues which equate to over 6% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF has established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than $40 bn. Further information can be found at www.rdif.ru

Mubadala Investment Company is a sovereign investor managing a global portfolio, aimed at generating sustainable financial returns for its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi. Mubadala’s $229 bn portfolio spans five continents with interests in multiple sectors including aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals, utilities, healthcare, real estate, pharmaceuticals and medical technology, agribusiness and a global portfolio of financial holdings across all asset classes. Mubadala has offices in Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, New York and San Francisco, with a joint venture in Hong Kong. Mubadala is a trusted partner, an engaged shareholder and a responsible global company that is committed to world-class standards of governance. Further information can be found at www.mubadala.com

PJSC “Rostelecom” is Russia’s largest provider of digital services and solutions with presence in all market segments, and passing through millions of Russian households, governmental and private organizations. The company is an unrivalled leader in the Russian broadband Internet access and PayTV markets with over 13.1 million of broadband Internet users and 10.3 million PayTV users of which over 5.5 million are using Interactive TV service. Rostelecom is an unquestionable leader on the market of telecommunications services provided to the Russian governmental and corporate customers of all levels. Rostelecom is a widely recognized technology leader offering innovative solutions in e-government, cybersecurity, DC and cloud computing services, biometric identification, healthcare, education, housing and utilities services. Further information can be found at www.company.rt.ru/en/

For additional information contact:

Arseniy Palagin                                     Maria Shiryaevskaya / Andrew Leach

Russian Direct Investment Fund                      Hudson Sandler

Press Secretary                                           Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133 

Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395

Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41

E-mail: arseniy.palagin@rdif.ru