SBI, Russia Direct Investment Fund in pact for $2-bn joint venture

State Bank of India (SBI), India's top state-run lender and Russia's sovereign wealth fund Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a partnership for exploring growth opportunities in the two countries.

As per the MoU, SBI and RDIF will together invest $2 billion in a joint venture for exploring growth opportunities in both countries.

This is one of the largest alliances of its kind by any Indian Bank with an overseas fund, SBI said in an official release today.

The fund will help Russian investors tap the huge investment opportunities in Indian Infrastructure space, believed to be more than $1 trillion, as also Russian divestment programme, thus further strengthening bilateral engagement.

The Indo-Russia Joint Investment Fund could also be effectively used by Indian companies with interest in hydro-carbon assets, diamond and other mineral assets in Russia.

The initiative for setting up the JV with the two sides investing up to $1 billion each, was announced during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India.