Srei, Russian development bank to create $200 mn innovation fund

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New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) In the latest instance of Indo-Russian cooperation in the area of innovation and information technology (IT), Kolkata-headquartered Srei Infrastructure Finance has signed an MoU with Russia’s Vnesheconombank to create a $200 million IT and Innovation Fund.

This fund will enable Srei and Vnesheconombank to jointly explore investment opportunities in technology companies in Russia, India and other selected regions.

The MoU was signed last month at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in the presence of Prime-Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to a statement from the state-run Vnesheconombank on Wednesday, a second memorandum of understanding with Srei provides for the creation of a joint leasing platform also for the promotion of Russian high technology products in the Indian market.

This MoU provides for a credit line to Srei of up to $500 million.

“The fund will serve as a two-way bridge between the Indian and Russian markets and create opportunities for India-Russia cross-border technology cooperation. We will leverage the rich scientific heritage and growth potential of India and Russia,” Srei Chairman and Managing Director Hemant Kanoria said in a statement.

Vnesheconombank is a development bank that aims to enhance the competitiveness and diversification of the Russian economy, as well as to stimulate investment activity.

“In order to implement the memorandum provisions the parties intend to create a working group between representatives of Srei and Vnesheconombank,” the Russian bank said.

A Kanoria Brothers enterprise, Srei has been operating in Russia since 2005. Among the company’s key business activities are capital markets, including merger and amalgamation deals, venture investments, and project funding.

Vnesheconombank also said that till date the total capital raised by the it for innovation projects, primarily for those to be implemented in Russia, amounts to nearly $2 billion.

On Tuesday, Vnesheconombank and the China Development Bank signed an agreement in Moscow for a 15-year term loan of $850 million to fund cooperation in innovations, the statement said.

–IANS

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