ROME/TRIESTE Nov 25 Russia's state-backed
private equity investment fund and Italy's strategic state
investment fund have agreed a deal to invest up to 1 billion
euros ($1.35 billion) in companies and projects in the two
countries, officials said on Monday.
Fabrizio Pagani, a senior economic advisor for Prime
Minister Enrico Letta, said the Russian Direct Investment Fund
(RDIF) would sign the deal with the Italian fund at a bilateral
summit in Trieste on Tuesday.
Under the agreement the two funds will invest up to 500
million euros each.
"We're not talking about small businesses but medium and
large companies," FDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told Reuters on the
"It will increase Russian investments into Italy and will
help fight the idea of Russia as a difficult place to invest
in," he said.
Dmitriev said the investment platform would involve a wide
range of companies in sectors such as engineering, component
manufacturing and air space.
He said they wanted to make a couple of investments next
year, adding they did not rule out increasing the investment
platform further down the road.
The Russian-Italian summit in Trieste, which will be
attended by Letta and Russia's President Vladimir Putin, is
expected to focus on finance, energy and industrial issues.
Pagani said the cost of long-term gas contracts, one of the
reasons for Italy's high energy prices, would also be discussed.
"Certainly energy security and the need to have equitable
gas prices close to market prices will be one of the issues on
the table," he said.
Italy's state-controlled oil major Eni is Russia's
biggest wholesale gas client and imports natural gas on
long-term contracts that are still in large part linked to high
Eni is constantly renegotiating its gas contract portfolio
and reached deals with its main suppliers in Russia and Algeria
earlier this year.