Cartesian Capital partners with RDIF for MICEX-RTS investment


US private equity firm Cartesian Capital has partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to buy stakes MICEX-RTS, Russia’s largest stock exchange, from ZAO UniCredit Bank.

The RDIF, the $10bn vehicle launched by the Kremlin last year to entice overseas investors to commit to private business opportunities in Russia, now owns around 2.7 per cent of the bourse.

Cartesian will own about 2.5 per cent of MICEX-RTS, while UniCredit Bank will reduce its stake in the exchange to 6.2 per cent.

The investment is part of a long-term strategy to promote the development of Russian capital markets and broaden the regional and international appeal of the Moscow Exchange.

The deal follows an investment earlier this year in the exchange by the RDIF and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, marking the Kremlin sovereign wealth fund’s first investment and reflecting the state’s efforts to transform Moscow into a globally competitive financial hub.

“With its strong market-leading position, MICEX-RTS is both central to Russia’s continued development as a regional and global financial center and an attractive IPO candidate,” said Peter Yu, a managing partner at Cartesian.

“RDIF is an ideal value-added partner for institutional investors entering Russia and we will work closely with them in the continued development of the exchange.”

Russia’s stock market is the most developed in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and represents the largest trading venue for futures and options in Eastern Europe.

The deal follows RDIF’s recent investment in Russian power producer OJSC Enel OGK-5, which was signed in May alongside Xenon Capital Partners’ Rusenergo Fund, AGC Equity Partners and the Macquarie Renaissance Infrastructure Fund.

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