6 Dec 2021 11:04

Sberbank, UAE partners to expand cooperation in high tech

DUBAI. Dec 6 (Interfax) - Sberbank plans to expand cooperation with partners from the United Arab Emirates, foremost in high technology sectors, the leading Russian lender's CEO, German Gref said at the Russian forum at Expo 2020.

"We and our partners from the Arab Emirates are investing in a whole range of high tech sectors and, it must be said, are earning a decent return. We intend to expand this partnership," Gref said.

He said Russia has everything it takes to develop high technologies. "Russia has good intellectual potential and technology groundwork in order to develop high tech. I'm confident that IT and high tech are Russia's future. One can earn a very good return on capital here," Gref said.

Sberbank and Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund Mubadala signed a strategic cooperation agreement in September 2020 that called for cooperation in many sectors, including joint investment, debt and equity financing, long-term Mubadala financing for projects in Russia and other countries, consulting services, and bank services for hedging currency and credit risks, among others. It also talked about cooperation and investment in the areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, hard sciences, venture capital, Islamic financing, telemedicine and education.

Gref also said that "in terms of risk-profit ratio, Russia will be one of the most attractive markets in the world in the coming decades."

Russia is facing a major transformation in connection with the energy transition, but this also opens up huge opportunities, he said. There are also still opportunities for investing in traditional sectors of the economy in the area of energy, as they will not lose their relevance for another 15-20 years, he said. Furthermore, Russia has huge potential for developing renewable, green sources of energy, Gref said.

"We estimate the necessary amount of investments [within the context of the energy transition] to 2050 at $1 trillion. And we estimate that about 80%, $800 billion can be found inside the country thanks to the development of forestland and other possibilities - the sale of quotas for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on the domestic and foreign market. Potentially, this is a huge business and this is a business for financial companies, this is a business for companies that work in energy and essentially all industries," Gref said.