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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Temasek Will Double Russia Fund to $300M

SINGAPORE -- Temasek Holdings, the Singaporean government's investment company, is doubling its fund investing in Russian companies to $300 million by April, said Ruben Vardanian, chairman of Troika Dialog investment bank, which jointly manages the fund.

The fund, called the Russia New Growth Fund, started with capital commitments of $150 million in November 2005. It targets returns of about 35 percent from investments in retail, entertainment and financial businesses in Russia, Vardanian said March 2 in a telephone interview.

The Russia New Growth Fund has increased to $235 million after attracting new investors last year, including European banks and private equity funds from the United States and Asia, Vardanian said.

Temasek, owned by Singapore's finance ministry, is investing outside the Southeast Asian nation in a bid to lift returns, which averaged 3 percent per year in the decade ended March 2004.

"The private equity business in Russia will grow very rapidly," Vardanian said. "We believe there will be big interest from Russian companies to raise money through private equity."

The fund is "looking at three or four transactions in the next couple of months" which may involve investments in financial or retail businesses, Vardanian, who owns about 65 percent of Troika, said.