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|| Royal Group Abu Dhabi to invest $100 million in Chechnya

royal-group.pngAbu Dhabi investment firm Royal Group may invest several hundred million dollars in housing and agriculture projects in Chechnya - the Bloomberg is reporting.

Royal Group will spend as much as $100 million in the first phase of a housing project, said Samia Bou Azza, a spokeswoman. Royal Group, which invested in Al Reem, a $60 billion island project in Abu Dhabi, recently sent a delegation to the region, the Russian region's leader Kadyrov said in an interview in Moscow.

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Abu Dhabi-based Royal Group may invest several hundred million dollars in housing and agriculture projects in Chechnya, said Ramzan Kadyrov, the Russian region's leader.

Royal Group, which invested in Al Reem, a $60 billion (Dh220.2 billion) island project in Abu Dhabi, recently sent a delegation to the region, Kadyrov said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Moscow.

"We proposed some projects to them and they really liked them," said Kadyrov, who has spearheaded Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's campaign to rebuild infrastructure devastated by two wars since 1994. "They said they are ready to participate in building homes and in the agricultural sector."

Russia is trying to lure investment to the North Caucasus region, which has seen almost daily attacks on government officials and police. With the Winter Olympics taking place in the nearby resort of Sochi in 2014, Putin has tried to drum up investment in the mostly Muslim region.

"The federal government is trying to attract investments although Chechnya isn't normally the kind of place where businesses would like to put their money," said Nikolai Petrov, an analyst from the Moscow Carnegie Centre.

Then-President Putin groomed Kadyrov to lead Chechnya after his father Akhmad was killed in a bomb attack on the regional capital Grozny's main soccer stadium in 2004.

Royal Group will spend as much as $100 million in the first phase of a housing project, said Samia Bou Azza, a spokeswoman. The total value "may go up in different phases" and the company is considering investment in livestock, the dairy and power industries, she said by phone yesterday.

The plan is part of growing interest in Russian investment in the Gulf region. United Arab Emirates investors, including Gulftainer Company Ltd. of Sharjah, and Dubai's Damac Properties last year agreed to spend $800 million in Russia. The deals were sealed during Putin's investment forum in Sochi.

Verno Capital, a Moscow-based hedge fund, in November won a mandate to manage $100 million for Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development.



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