Russia creating $10 bn foreign investment fund: report

7th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Russian government is setting up a $10 billion joint investment fund with private equity firms in a bid to bring new foreign capital to the country, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The report follows President Dmitry Medvedev's vow last year to create a "special sovereign fund" that could help boost his economic modernisation effort and make Moscow into a global financial centre.

The Financial Times said that Goldman Sachs has been asked to informally guide the project, with the Blackstone, Carlyle and Appolo Management private equity firms also approached.

Middle East sovereign wealth funds have also been asked to join, the Financial Times said, without naming specific countries.

Russia is expected to formally launch the initiative at the end of March following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the report said.

Medvedev has voiced repeated plans to raise foreign capital that could help improve the country's investment climate and support his economic modernisation drive.

He first floated the idea in June 2010, promising to create a joint investment fund within a year, and then reaffirmed that message in January at his keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Financial Times also reported that the Kremlin was setting up a committee to advise Medvedev on making Moscow into a global financial centre, a project that has been mentioned by Russian officials for years.

The committee will include Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, Blackstone founder Steve Schwarzman, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, as well as representatives from BNP Paribas and UniCredit, the report said.

The Financial Times story was published on a Russian bank holiday and there has been no official confirmation of the report.

© 2011 AFP

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