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Bahrain, Russia sign agreement to produce Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for Midde East

June 03, 2021
Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Binnopharm Group to explore the establishment of a vaccine production facility in the kingdom to manufacture and distribute the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine across the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Middle East region. — BNA photo
Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Binnopharm Group to explore the establishment of a vaccine production facility in the kingdom to manufacture and distribute the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine across the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Middle East region. — BNA photo

MANAMA — Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Binnopharm Group to explore the establishment of a vaccine production facility in the kingdom to manufacture and distribute the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine across the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Middle East region.

The Binnopharm Group is а subsidiary of Sistema PJSFC, a publicly-traded Russian investment company.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Bahrain's Foreign Ministry Abdullatif Al-Zayani during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) held this week in Russia.

In 2014, Mumtalakat signed an agreement with RDIF to strengthen economic and investment cooperation between Bahrain and Russia.

The Memorandum of Understanding promotes the exchange of information and expertise in the sectors and areas of common interest for both entities.

It also sets the overall framework for the identification of and cooperation on mutually beneficial investment prospects investment and co-investment opportunities in Russia and Bahrain.

Mumtalakat automatically co-invests with RDIF in all projects with returns on these co-investments exceeding the returns on global indices.

“Our partnership with both RDIF and Binnopharm Group will enable the Kingdom of Bahrain to continue to be at the forefront of fighting this pandemic whilst working to further enhance the region’s healthcare sector through the establishment of this facility," Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of Mumtalakat, said,

"As the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, we continue to look into partnerships and ventures that will add value to our portfolio as well as bring long-term sustainable solutions to the Kingdom and wider region.”

Kirill Dimitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Find (RDIF), said that "our collaboration with Mumtalakat goes back a long way and has resulted in a successful co-investment program as well as a fruitful partnership between our organizations."

"We are delighted to extend our cooperation to establish a production facility in Bahrain to produce Sputnik V - the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine. Sputnik V has been included in Bahrain’s national portfolio in February and the vaccine is successfully used to protect the population against COVID," he said.

"Local production will increase our international production capabilities and help other countries of the region to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Dmitry Zubov, chairman of the Board of Binnopharm Group, further said that last summer, Binnopharm Group’s pharmaceutical plant in Zelenograd was the first in Russia to launch production of the COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V.

"Over the last year, we perfected the technology down to the details and now have a good understanding of how to scale up production of the vaccine. We are happy to share our know-how with other countries to assist them in developing their own production of Sputnik-V at scale.”

The Sputnik V vaccine is the world’s first registered vaccine against COVID-19 and it was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and registered by the Ministry of Health of Russia.

The vaccine is produced with RDIF’s backing and the active support of its international manufacturing partners in India, China and South Korea among other countries.

In February 2021, Bahrain authorized the emergency use of the Sputnik V vaccine to become the fourth authorized vaccine in the country. — SG

June 03, 2021
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