Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) has said it will pause investments in Russia.

Mubadala’s CEO Khaldoon Khalifa al-Mubarak confrimed at an investor conference in Dubai that the company will halt Russian investments in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

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“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,” al-Mubarak said. “Obviously, in this environment, we have to pause investment in this market, in Russia.”

By announcing its decision to suspend investments in Russia, Mubadala has become the first sovereign institution in the Gulf to turn away from Moscow in response to its military aggression against Ukraine.

Mubadala’s exposure to Russian assets is less than one per cent of its portfolio.

Since entering the market in 2010, Mubadala has committed more than $3bn and built a portfolio of about 50 investments in sectors including energy, infrastructure, real estate, commodities, banking, logistics and technology, resulting in strong financial returns.

The UAE is a key member of the Opec+ alliance of oil producers that is led by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The UAE abstained in a UN Security Council motion on 2 March to condemn the Russian invasion.

Mubadala’s Russian investments

Mubadala has a joint venture with Russia’s Gazprom Neft and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to develop fields in Western Siberia.

Prior to Mubadala’s decision to pause investments, the partners had planned to double the size of their current reserves.

Additionally, in 2018, Mubadala and RDIF acquired a 49 percent stake in Gazpromneft-Vostok, which operates fields in the Tomsk and Omsk regions of Western Siberia.

Mubadala also has a 2.6 per cent stake in Moscow-listed aluminium company En+.

Mubadala is a long-term investor in the Russian economy and has an office in Moscow with more than 20 people, according to its website.

The Abu Dhabi company also acquired a 1.9 per cent stake in Russia’s largest petrochemicals company Sibur in December 2021.

This article is published by MEED, the world’s leading source of business intelligence about the Middle East. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here.