Arab Investments in Russian Infrastructure

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-3-80-87
Strategic Studies Institute of the Republic of Bashkortostan (ISI RB), 15, Kirova Str., Ufa, 450008, Russian Federation;
Ufa State Petroleum Technological University (UGNTU), 1, Cosmonauts Str., Ufa, 450062, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article deals with the investments from GCC countries infrastructure (energy, road, port, airport, warehouse, social and IT facilities) in Russia. The empirical data on more than 60 M&A-deals collected from databases and open sources show that such investments grew up in recent 5 years. The author estimates the total value of 40 deals completed and funded by GCC investors at 22 Billion US dollars. GCC companies which are mainly performed by sovereign wealth funds prefer to invest via private equity platforms. These platforms substitute Islamic finance vehicles in the Russian financial market. Since 2013 Russian sovereign fund RDIF founded seven private equity platforms with GCC sovereign wealth funds (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Mubadala, Qatar Investment Authority, Public Investment Authority, Kuwait Investment Authority and Mumtalakat) for funding M&A-deals in local infrastructure. Besides that, Russia attracted Islamic capital via murabaha vehicle to fund building facilities for the Universiade held in Kazan in 2013. The author concludes that GCC investments into Russian infrastructure do not reach its potential. It is associated with remaining institutional features of Russian economy such as preference to use bank loans vs. equity financing, lack of ready-to-invest projects and low qualification of government bureaucracy to initiate and support infrastructure projects. These problems together with deficiency of public funds explain why Russian public-private partnership market is not mature enough to boost infrastructure projects that can boost overall economic growth.

Keywords: infrastructure, investments, public-private partnership, foreign direct investment, sovereign wealth funds, Islamic finance, Gulf countries, GCC


1. The Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018. Available at: (accessed 12.06.2019).

2. Nagimova A. Privlechenie arabskogo kapitala: opyt sub’ektov RF [Raising Arab Capital: Experiences of Russian Regions]. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2018, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 57-61. DOI:10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-2-57-61

3. Mobilizing Islamic Finance for Infrastructure Public Private Partnerships. Available at: (accessed 19.06.2019).

4. RDIF Investments. Available at: (accessed 12.07.2019).

5. Middle East Money Flows into Russian Power Group. Available at: (accessed 15.07.2019).

6. Mumtalakat Portfolio. Available at: (accessed 18.07.2019).

7. RDIF and leading investors from Middle East finalize of terms of CKAD‑4 construction project. Available at: (accessed 20.07.2019).

8. Novorossiysk Port will be sold by the whole world (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 12.07.2019).

9. DP World Evaluating Three Sites in Russia for $2bn Investment. Available at: (accessed 19.07.2019).

10. Russian Direct Investment Fund Multiplies Investment in Hyperloop Project. Available at: (accessed 17.07.2019).

11. Nagimova A. Arabskii kapital vstal na reide [Arab capital was raised to raid]. Expert, 2016, Febuary 8–14, no. 6(974), pp. 20-21.

12. QIA Buys Stake in St Petersburg Airport. Available at: (accessed 18.07.2019).

13. RDIF, Middle Eastern and Asian Co-investors and Baring Vostok to Acquire an Equity Stake in Pulkovo Airport from VTB Capital. Available at: (accessed 18.07.2019).

14. Qatar Airways Takes 25% Stake in Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. Available at: (accessed 18.07.2019).

15. GCC Funds in $100m Russia Logistics Deal. Available at: (accessed 18.07.2019).

16. Saudi Group Enters PPP to Manage Medical Center in Russia. Available at: (accessed 20.07.2019).

17. Infrastructure Investments 2019. Executive Summary. Available at: (accessed 05.07.2019).

18. Allocating to Infrastructure. Available at: (accessed 05.07.2019).

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Nagimova A. Arab Investments in Russian Infrastructure. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, No 3, pp. 80-87.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Current Issue
2023, vol. 67, No. 3
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Tax Instruments to Stimulate Innovations in EU Countries 
  • Russia and Western Balkans: Realized and Missed Opportunities in Trade
  • Spanish Society: Stable Instability 
  • ASEAN and the Myanmar Dilemma 
  • Greater Middle East
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.