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BANKING

Russia: VEB joins Macquarie in infrastructure fund

Development agencies emerge as key players; Other funds in the pipeline

Stephen Jennings, Renaissance Group

"The fund is well positioned to lead the way in the revitalization of key infrastructure in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other CIS countries"

Stephen Jennings, Renaissance Group

Russia’s state development bank, Vneshekonombank, has become the cornerstone investor in the first private-sector infrastructure fund targeting projects in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. VEB is committing $200 million to the Macquarie Renaissance Infrastructure Fund. MRIF is a joint venture between Russian investment bank Renaissance Group and Australia’s Macquarie Group. At the first close MRIF attracted a total of $530 million, with Macquarie and Renaissance each providing $50 million of seed capital. Other big investors in the fund include the International Finance Corporation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which have committed $100 million apiece. Kazakh development agency Kazyna Capital Management has made an initial commitment of $30 million, which will rise to $50 million once total MRIF commitments have reached the $750 million mark. MRIF will continue to raise capital during 2009 and 2010, and is targeting total investor commitments of more than $1 billion.

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