Troika Dialog Planning 'Distressed' Asset Fund

ReutersTroika CEO Ruben Vardanyan speaking at the Russia Investment Roadshow.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Troika Dialog investment house plans to set up a special 'distressed' asset fund to invest in Russian debt markets and help finance corporate share buybacks, it said Monday.

CEO Ruben Vardanyan said at a Russian investment roadshow in Dubai that the fund would be launched by the end of the year as the financial services firm looked to take advantage of opportunities in its home market stemming from the global financial crisis.

Deteriorating conditions also mean that the company will look at cutting 7 percent to 15 percent of its workforce, Vardanyan said.

"In the short term, there will be more of a corporate financing role than public trading," he said, adding that he saw opportunities in bank mergers and acquisitions, private placements, distressed debt and buybacks.

Vardanyan declined to give the size of the fund or which sectors it could target but said his firm aimed to help "companies with the new reality."

Vardanyan said opportunities would arise for investment banks as consolidation, mergers and acquisitions would increase because of the worsening economic climate.

"In the long term, we believe the Russian market has huge opportunity for investment services. … It's an opportunity for local players to drive," he said.