Russia’s $10bn state-backed fund has appointed the new head of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund to its international advisory board, in a move signalling a possible co-operation between the two investors.
Ahmad Mohamed Al-Sayed, the 37-year-old lawyer who earlier this month was named chief executive of the Qatar Investment Authority, is joining Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chief executive of Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi state fund, as well as Gao Xiqing, president of the China Investment Corporation on the board, the fund said in a statement on Wednesday.
The appointments show a willingness by the Russian Direct Investment Fund to cement ties with the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds to boost direct investments in the country, which has acquired a bad reputation among foreign investors.
Kirill Dmitriev, the 38-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker who runs the RDIF, last month struck a deal with Mubadala to commit $1bn each to pursue joint opportunities in Russia. The agreement followed a $2bn fund with China Investment Corp a year ago and a $500m fund with the Kuwait Investment Authority. Asked whether a similar deal was on the table with the QIA, Mr Dmitriev told the Financial Times: “Not yet,” declining to elaborate further.
In May the Qatari fund bought a stake in Russian state-owned bank VTB.
Mr Dmitriev is seeking to convince some of those sovereign wealth funds to invest in Russian infrastructure projects, which include a new ring road around Moscow and a fast-speed train line, he said. The RDIF was set up by Vladimir Putin in 2011 to promote private equity deals in the country.