France honors Saudi Arabia’s Russian investment partner

The CEO of Rusian Direct Investment Fund pictured at the opening ceremony of the Future Investment Initiative FII conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 10 November 2018

France honors Saudi Arabia’s Russian investment partner

  • PIF has invested $2 billion in joint projects with the Russians
  • RDIF was prominent participant in recent FII event in Riyadh

DUBAI: One of the earliest joint investment projects between Saudi Arabia and Russia has been recognized by the French government as an example of cross-border “economic diplomacy”.
Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of Russian sovereign wealth fund, Russia Direct Investment Fund — a major partner of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund — has been honored by French President Emmanuel Macron for his contribution to Russia-France economic relations.
Dmitriev was awarded the title of Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour — the highest honor France can bestow — for promoting French companies in Russia as well as the entry of Russian companies into the French market.
One of the biggest investments in France by RIDF was the €250 million ($285 million) injection in Arc International, the global glassware company that owns French homewares brand Luminarc. PIF was a major investor in that joint venture along with other sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)
Dmitriev told Arab News: ““The award from the French President recognizes the role SWFs are playing in the modern world, building bridges and long-term partnerships between countries in different regions of the world though economic diplomacy.
“In that context our partnership with PIF as well as other funds becomes increasingly important. The investment in Arc was one of our first joint projects with PIF. It demonstrated the cross-border reach of our partnership, which was beneficial for French and Russian factory workers as well as for international investors,” he said.
The RDIF was a prominent participant at the recent PIF-sponsored Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, where plans were unveiled for a $500 million Saudi investment in a proposed three-way investment fund with Russian and Chinese sovereign investors, which will have $2.5 billion to invest in projects in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
PIF has currently invested $2 billion in joint projects with the Russians, and nine new projects are planned in energy, infrastructure and information technology.
Dmitriev said that over the next five years, RDIF intends to quadruple the volume of investment in the Russian-French investment platform, created jointly with CDC International Capital, the French public investment vehicle.
“This will enable us to surpass the record amount of foreign direct investment reached at the beginning of 2018, when the total amount of accumulated French direct investment in Russia reached $16.3 billion,” he said.
The Legion of Honor award was established by French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize outstanding service to the country. It will be formally presented to Dmitriev at an award ceremony later this month.


Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

Updated 14 November 2019

Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

  • US-China trade deal will help remove ‘dark cloud’ over oil, says Barkindo

LONDON: Oil prices reversed early losses on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it saw no signs of global recession and rival US shale oil production could grow by much less than expected in 2020.

Also supporting prices were comments by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said the US economy would see a “sustained expansion” with the full impact of recent interest rate cuts still to be felt.

Brent crude futures stood roughly flat at around $62 per barrel by 1450 GMT, having fallen by over 1 percent earlier in the day. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56 per barrel, up 20 cents or 0.4 percent.

“The baseline outlook remains favorable,” Powell said.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said global economic fundamentals remained strong and that he was still confident that the US and China would reach a trade deal.

“It will almost remove that dark cloud that had engulfed the global economy,” Barkindo said, adding it was too early to discuss the output policy of OPEC’s December meeting.

HIGHLIGHT

  • US oil production likely to grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations.
  • The prospects for ‘US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.’

He also said some US companies were now saying US oil production would grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations — reducing the risk of an oil glut next year.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Washington and Beijing were close to finalizing a trade deal, but he fell short of providing a date or venue for the signing ceremony.

“The expectations of an inventory build in the US and uncertainty over the OPEC+ strategy on output cuts and US/China trade deal are weighing on oil prices,” said analysts at ING, including the head of commodity strategy Warren Patterson.

In the US, crude oil inventories were forecast to have risen for a third straight week last week, while refined products inventories likely declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

ANZ analysts said the prospects for US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.