Riyadh readying $2bn to invest primarily in Russia
Riyadh is planning to provide major investments into the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) with the fund expected to be renamed, according to the head of RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev.
“In the near future, we will announce that Saudi Arabia is investing in RCIF and the fund will be renamed as the Russian-Chinese-Saudi Fund,” Dmitriev said at the Future Investment Initiative (FII), Saudi Arabia’s international investment forum.
“Thus, the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia will join our partnership with China. That means significant investments from the Saudi side.”
The RCIF was established in June 2012 by China’s state-owned China Investment Corporation (CIS) and RDIF, headed by Dmitriev to focus on projects that foster bilateral economic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. Both participants raised a combined $2 billion in equal shares.
The fund reportedly invests at least 70 percent of its capital in Russia and member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and up to 30 percent - in China.
Moscow is also interested in Saudi projects. Russian Railways would like to participate in building railroads in Saudi Arabia, according to Dmitriev, who is on the company's board of directors.
“We think Russian Railways is one of the world’s best builders of railroads,” he said. “For instance, the company is going to become the key partner in rail projects in India.”
Moreover, the RCIF is interested in taking part in the privatization of the kingdom’s assets of agricultural infrastructure, Dmitriev said.
“Agricultural sector and, certainly, technologies, such as artificial intelligence, genetics, robotic automation and many other industries, in which Russia took leading position… We think that infrastructure, agriculture and technologies are the sectors where we can do much in cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” the official added.