Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund suspends investments in Russia


Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company has suspended its investments in Russia due to the Ukraine crisis, one of its top executive said last week.

“What is happening in this crisis between Russia and Ukraine is a travesty, with catastrophic consequences, in terms of human life and in terms of the impact it’s having on economies all over the world,” said Khaldoon Khalifa Mubarak, the group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company, at an investment conference in Dubai.

 “Obviously, in this environment, we have to pause investment in this market, in Russia,” he added, as reported by Reuters. 

According to the business news agency, Mubadala invested $3 billion in some 50 Russian companies in total —  which accounts for less than 1% of the sovereign wealth fund’s portfolio. 

A fraction of these investments went to some of the most prominent tech companies based or rooted in Russia, including:

Mubadala also invested twice in freight service Deliver (previously known as iCanDelive): the first time in 2018; the second time in 2021.

RDIF and Sber lose strategic partner

The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund also has established partnerships with key Russian financial institutions. 

Since 2013, Mubadala has been developing a long-term partnership with its Russian peer RDIF.

In 2020 Mubadala and Sber, the state-controlled Russian financial and tech giant (previously known as Sberbank), announced a “strategic agreement to explore opportunities of mutual benefits.”  A part of the agreement was about technology, with planned cooperation in such fields as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, life sciences, venture capital, Islamic finance, telemedicine and education. 

Mubadala is also a limited partner — along with other large international investors — in an Elbrus Capital fund launched in 2021 to invest in the Russian digital sphere.

On March 2, the United Arab Emirates abstained from a UN Security Council resolution to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In contrast, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) — which invested in Russia, including its tech sector, until 2014 — “strongly condemned” Russia’s war on Ukraine. Last week the bank announced it was in the process of closing its offices in Moscow and Minsk as “the inevitable outcome of the actions taken by the Russian Federation with the help of Belarus.”


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