IEPlus: Russia gathers finance officials to discuss investment opportunities

Yesterday saw the opening of the 11th international investment forum in Sochi, Russia. Its aim is to bring together industry professionals to discuss Russia’s competitive advantage, the need for new financial instruments and the development of the infrastructure and institutional landscape of the country.

One of the participants in the forum is the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), represented by its chief executive Kirill Dmitriev.

Dmitriev spoke at the event about the need for liquidity on the Russian market and expanding the number of instruments available for investment by the Russian pension system.

Editors Note: InvestmentEurope is interested to know more of the community activities of asset managers, especially those operating in Continental Europe. Each Friday afternoon we will run a series of “IEPlus” stories online at www.investmenteurope.net, which highlight this kind of involvement. If you have material to offer (text or video) for consideration please email it to caroline.allen@incisivemedia.com

He mentioned infrastructure bonds, which could be used to finance development of the Far East and existing companies. “Infrastructure bonds are an attractive and accessible instrument for investors,” he said.

He also pointed to index funds, which could give exposure to the entire Russian market, instead of single companies.

He also highlighted the need to look at the opportunity to invest a large part of the pension system in Russian companies whose shares are traded on the recently united MICEX-RTS stock exchange.

The presentation also saw Laurent Vigier, a member of the RDIF supervisory board and director of European and international affairs at Caisse des Dépôts Group, commenting on the attractiveness of Russia as an investment destination.

Vigier said: “Today, Russia distinguishes itself from many western countries with its low levels of external debt and unemployment and its considerable foreign exchange reserves, the world’s third largest. This allows investors to expect a sufficiently stable macroeconomic situation, regardless of international financial volatility.

“The Russian government is taking a number of concrete measures to increase the competitiveness of the local economy, including the creation of special instruments to improve Russia’s investment attractiveness.”

Apart from Russia’s regional representatives, attendees from 28 different countries have shown their face in Sochi, future home to Winter Olympics in 2014.

The event will run until the end of the weekend. The total number of guests expected this year has reached 15,000, a record high since the launch of the initiative.

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