Arab Investors Forage in Military Hardware

In a move that has geopolitical and industrial implications, Arab investors are taking as much as a 40% stake in Russian Helicopters. The firm is part of Rostec, a Moscow-backed conglomerate. While the staged $900 million dollar outlay is technically a private investment, it says much about the GCC hedging itself against volatile US policies. Washington has long endorsed the sale of military hardware to Gulf nations. That stance may change in a Trump-influenced world. The real story, however, may be the ongoing struggle for economic diversification, only this time deeper into civil aviation. Arab investors often tap into industries that have immediate, technology-transfer implications. The twist here is that defense-sector deals tend to be executed quietly; they can run afoul of local Shariah-compliant biases. At least there is public-relations cover for the eyebrow-raising deal. The giant-sized International Defense Exhibition is being held this week in Abu Dhabi.

Our Vantage Point: Arab investors are looking for fresh directions for their portfolio capital. That trend may lead to apparently out-of-school commitments. The scope of local economic challenges justifies the stretch.

Learn more at The National.

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Image: Russian Helicopters is backed by the Russian government. Credit: Vladj55 at Can Stock Photo Inc.