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RDIF and State Bank of India to Invest up to 1 Billion USD Each in Joint Projects

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The press release states, “Russian Government promoted sovereign wealth fund the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and State Bank of India (SBI) have created a new co-investment consortium in order to expand bilateral economic cooperation. A memorandum of understanding was signed today as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to India. The document was signed by RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev and SBI Chairman Mr Pratip Chaudhuri in the presence of the leaders of both countries – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh.

Following the agreement, RDIF and SBI will team up to develop infrastructure to facilitate access to long-term capital in Russia and India, and to actively promote mutual investments between the two countries.

The MoU notes that each of the parties may invest up to 1 billion USD each or facilitate investment in projects and companies with a Russia-India angle, as well as initiatives associated with privatization, globalization or mutual trade. The document also reflects the main principles of selecting investment targets and managing investments by the parties, with the emphasis being promotion of trade and economic cooperation between Russia and India. Emphasis will be placed on projects geared towards higher purchasing power of the population, ensuring demand for infrastructure, creation of value addition in the extraction and processing of natural resources, and the development of manufacturing businesses and service sector companies.

Commenting after the signing Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “I believe that the Memorandum signed between RDIF and State Bank of India will provide additional stimulus to build mutually beneficial cooperation, including SME. It is about creating an efficient, real and actionable mechanism for co-financing investment projects of approximately one billion dollars.”

Commenting on the signing of the Memorandum Kirill Dmitriev said: “We are delighted to find a new partner represented by India’s largest state-owned banking institution. At present, BRICS countries show strong investment potential, and the co-investment consortium, given the government support, helps mitigate the risks that might arise from the global economic situation. Our agreement is focused primarily on the most promising and highest-demand sectors. Also, let us not forget that given Russia’s and India’s macroeconomic performance one can expect high investment returns.”

State Bank of India Chairman Mr Pratip Chaudhuri said: “By partnering with a sovereign wealth fund like RDIF, our bank will have access to interesting and very attractive projects from an investment point of view. Both the Russian and Indian economies are in need of substantial investment. Together this partnership between RDIF and SBI is expected to make a major contribution towards enhancing the economic cooperation between the two countries. In our view, a partnership of developing economies can really result in a win-win situation for both the countries.”

Read more: RDIF Press Release

Saudi Arabia Sends Second Installment of Aid to Pakistan

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On December 14, 2018, Pakistan received its second installment of the US$ 3 billion in aid promised from Saudi Arabia on October 23, 2018. The US$ 1 billion given on December 14th boosted the foreign reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan, which went from US$ 7.2 billion to US$ 8.2 billion. The first installment was given on November 23, 2018. The last installment is expected to occur in January 2019.

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White House Nominates Heath Tarbert for CFTC Chairman

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The White House announced Heath P. Tarbert will be nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Tarbert currently serves as Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before joining the U.S. Treasury, Tarbert was a Partner at law firm Allen & Overy. Tarbert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for his current Treasury post at 87 (yes) to 8 (no).

Upon Senate confirmation, Tarbert’s CFTC term would start on April 14, 2019 and last for five years. Tarbert is taking over from J. Christopher Giancarlo whose term ends in April 2019. Tarbert will need a U.S. Senate confirmation to take the head CFTC post.

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KIA Could Sell Stake in North Sea Energy Business

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The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), through its unit Wren House Investment Management, is nearing a deal to sell a 40% stake in its North Sea energy business to JPMorgan Asset Management. In July 2018, KIA closed on a deal to acquire oil and gas pipeline firm North Sea Midstream Partners from ArcLight Capital.

More details to follow –

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