Why does Saudi Arabia want to build logistic parks in Russia

Saudi Arabia has acted as a partner of the Russian side in the logistics company PLT, which eventually can become one of the market leaders. To successfully develop the project, you need to invest at least $ 500 million, the expert says.
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The State Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (Public Investment Fund, PIF) invests in the Russian logistics company PLT, created by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RFPI). The corresponding agreement was signed on Thursday, June 14, during the visit of Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed ibn Salman Al Saud to Russia, told RBC in the press service of the RFPI. At the time of publication, the Saudi investment fund did not respond to RBC's request.

"Investors plan to increase the portfolio of PLT projects across the country, creating a leading player in the Russian logistics market," the RFPI notes. The fund does not specify the planned investments in the development of the project.

Owner of four parks

PLT (LLC "Professional logistics technology") was established by RFPI, Mubadala Development Company and other "Middle East funds" in 2016. The RFPI representative explained to RBC that PIF will become one of the three main PLT investors, while a search for new co-investors will continue. In the current portfolio of PLT includes four logistics park - in the Moscow region ("PLT-Northern Sheremetyevo" and "PLT-Chekhov"), Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. Complexes in the capital region were bought from the PNK Group for $ 100 million, the head of the RFPI, Kirill Dmitriev, said earlier. The project in Novosibirsk market participants estimated at 2.5-2.9 billion rubles, another 1.2-1.3 billion rubles. could manage the park in the Urals.

Now under the management of PLT - 500 thousand square meters. The representative of RFPI explained that PLT plans to increase its portfolio to 2-3 million square meters. m of logistics areas. Previously, the company had more modest plans. In the spring of 2016, RFPI said that they plan to increase the area of ​​warehouses in the property to 1 million square meters. m.

RFPI and Saudi Arabia's investment fund have agreed on joint investment in Russian projects as early as 2015: the partnership planned to invest $ 10 billion "mainly" in projects in Russia within four to five years. Priority sectors were infrastructure, agriculture, medicine, logistics, retail, real estate. In particular, Saudi investors together with RFPI and Mubadala Development in October last year agreed to invest 13 billion rubles. to the United Transport Concession Holding. The fund also participates in the project for the construction of the industrial park "Rostech-City", within the framework of which it is planned to build more than 1 million square meters. (including class A office park and residential real estate, as well as a recreational and park area) on the territory of the Tushino airfield in the north-west of Moscow.

A good time for development

The largest players in the Russian warehouse real estate market are the British Raven Russia and MLP (part of the Safmar group), under the management of these companies for 1.8 million km. m of space. Among the largest investors in Russia's warehouses in Colliers International are also companies called UFG Real Estate, Ghelamco and Hines.

The general director of A Plus Development, Pyotr Gavyrin, notes that for effective development in the logistics market, it is necessary to invest at least $ 500 million. "Now is a good time for institutional investors to enter this market. The main demand is now formed by e-commerce, primarily in cities with a population of one million. There and need to invest, "- says Gavyrin.

According to JLL, the total supply of warehouse facilities in Russia in 2017 amounted to 28 million square meters. m, and 60% of it is concentrated in Moscow. According to the company, the vacancy rate in the regions is 4%, in Moscow it is much higher - at the end of last year 8,4% of Moscow warehouses were empty.

Demand for warehouses in the Russian regions over the past year, according to Colliers International, grew by 47%, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, this figure remained approximately at the level of 2016. Investments in warehouses are financially justified, since the share of free storage facilities in Russia is declining with a consistently high demand, says Managing Partner of Colliers International Nikolay Kazansky. "Most of the large warehouse complexes are completely filled, which provides the owners with a stable rental stream," Kazansky said.