Legendary investor Jim Rogers joined as an adviser to the agriculture division of VTB Capital, the investment unit of Russia’s largest financial institution, VTB Bank.
According to VTB Capital, Rogers will provide regular advice and insights regarding the global commodity markets and investment trends, starting this month.
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VTB Capital recently launched an investment platform to explore and capitalize growth opportunities in the agricultural markets. The Russian private equity firm is active in commodities investment and it is looking forward to attracting $500 million to $1 billion, over a period through its development strategy.
According to VTB Capital, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) aim to become an agricultural superpower, and become the leader in exporting commodities, including barley, corn, wheat, and sunflower oil, particularly in China, the Middle East, and North Africa.
VTB Capital cited that the demand for food will increase by 70 percent worldwide by 2050, and it is confident that Russia and the CIS region will play an important role in contributing a significant portion to meet that demand. By 2020, the private equity firm believes that the region will beat the United States as the largest wheat exporter worldwide.
According to Tim Demchenko, global head of private equity and special situations at VTB Capital, Rogers is an expert in commodity investment trends and he knows the importance of the region in the global commodity dynamic.
He said, “Jim sees the investment opportunity in the agriculture, resulting from its low-cost, high fertile cropping land, potential productivity gains, abundant water supply, and close proximity to the high demand regions of MENA and China, via established shipping routes.”
On the other hand, Rogers expressed his enthusiasm in joining VTB Capital, and in helping the company achieve its objective in making the region as a world leader in the agricultural commodity sector. He said, “Russia and the CIS region have all the ingredients needed to become the world’s agriculture powerhouse. It seems that everything may now be coming together under VTB Capital to make this happen, so I am keen to participate.”
Last month, Rogers shared some very optimistic insight on the agricultural commodities investing. He is confident that the commodities prices will continue to surge. He said, “All these guys are delaying or suspending or cancelling new supply, which is bullish. Until the supply comes we’re not going to have an end to the bull market, and certainly in agriculture, my goodness, inventories are near historic lows, we have serious shortages of everything in agriculture developing, including farmers”.
In a recent interview with Reuters, he reiterated his bullishness in the agricultural commodities, as well as on foreign currencies, gold and silver for the rest of the decade. He expressed his pessimism on the U.S. dollar and worried about the possibility of recession in 2013 through 2014. He said, “Be very worried about 2013 and be very worried about 2014, because that’s when the next slowdown comes.”
Rogers co-founded Quantum Fund, with his fellow legendary investor George Soros. He is the chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. He also established the Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI) in the late 1990s. The RICI tracks 38 commodities futures contracts, quoted in 4 currencies, and is listed in 12 twelve exchanges in five countries. In 2007, Rogers moved to Singapore with his family.