Novaar Forms JV to Facilitate Investment in Russia's Urals Region

Novaar announced the creation of a Joint Venture with JSC Ural Industrial-Ural Polar, an entity owned by state institutions of the Russian Federation, to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment ("FDI") in the natural resource-rich Urals region of the country.

Novaar, a Saudi-led investment concern, in cooperation with preferred strategic partners, will invest through the newly-formed Joint Venture, in designated infrastructure projects throughout the Urals Federal District.

The Ural Federal District, described by some as "Russia's Klondike of raw materials," represents 92% of all Russian gas production, 66% of all oil production and 45% of all ferrous and 42% of all non-ferrous metals. However, most of these assets remain "in the ground" awaiting the development of specialized regional infrastructure to best allow for the efficient exploitation, processing and transportation of these precious resources.

To this end, Ural Polar has been tasked to transform the industrial and economic infrastructure of the Urals region - a part of Russia that contains 11 million people and accounts for 19% of its current industrial output - by modernizing its economy, increasing its power generation capacity, and transforming its inter and intra-regional transportation links.

This announcement follows the recent meeting between the Founder of Novaar, His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Mansour F.S. Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and the Presidential Envoy to the Urals Federal District, Mr. Nikolai Vinnichenko at which various investment projects were discussed and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed.

Mr. David Mapplebeck, Chief Investment Officer of Novaar, commented: "Novaar is delighted to support the development of the Urals Federal District by providing investment capital and its team's expertise to the Ural Polar mega-project. We look forward to working together with the Ural Polar team to implement their vision and demonstrate how private capital from the GCC can work with Russian State organizations to the benefit of all."

Initially, the Joint Venture will concentrate on developing the transportation and power generation infrastructure of the region, including the 354 kilometre Salekhard-Nadym railway line, which should enable the more efficient conduct of freight movements from Europe to Eastern Siberia. The construction of the railways, associated power generation facilities and electricity transmission will provide further impetus to the development of the region's natural resources and energy sectors.

The Presidential Envoy to the Urals Federal District, Mr. Nikolai Vinnichenko commented: "While the investment landscape in Western Europe is well known to Gulf investors, we believe this partnership reinforces the fact that there are meaningful investment opportunities available, not only within the Urals Federal District, but more broadly within the Russian economy at large." Mr. Vinnichenko continued: "The continued development of the Urals Region is a high priority for the Federation, and as such, this Project and its successful realization is being custodied by our country's most Senior Government Executives."

In total, the Ural Polar projects are estimated to require investment of over 831.2 Billion Roubles (US $27.7 Billion) over the coming years, with three-quarters expected from private investment sources. The Russian Investment Fund has already committed 126.8 Billion Roubles (US $4.2 Billion) to Ural Polar. As such, the project is one of the largest public-private partnerships in the world, with many of Russia's largest companies, including TNK-BP, LUKOIL and SIBUR expected to participate as both operating and strategic partners.