Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and Abu Dhabi financial services company Invest AD signed an agreement on Friday to cooperate on investment in the Russian and the Middle East markets. According to the agreement, signed in Russia’s capital city Moscow, Sberbank and Invest AD will introduce their clients to opportunities in their respective capital markets, private equity, and trade finance. The two institutions will also give each other legal support and share market research. The agreement builds on a relationship stretching back to 2009, when Invest AD joined Sberbank in an investment in a ski resort that will host the 2014 Winter Olympics near Sochi, in the Krasnaya Polyana region. “Today Sberbank is a global banking group with a presence in the leading financial markets: Russia, C.I.S., Europe and Asia,” Sberbank President and Chief Executive Officer Herman Gref said after signing the agreement. “The Middle East is in every respect a strategic region for global policy and finance and we intend to develop an active presence there. Now we are exploring an opportunity of working there, and we realize that to be effective and successful, we need to have a trusted and transparent partner with strong local knowledge and expertise. We have been cooperating with Invest AD in Russia for a number of years, thus our partnership stood the test of time. Therefore we jointly decided to widen our cooperation and set ambitious goals.” Invest AD’s Chief Executive Officer, Nazem Fawwaz Al Kudsi, said the partnership with Russia’s biggest bank would add great value to Invest AD’s clients. \"Sberbank is a great bank with a strong ownership, rich history and compelling vision, and we are honoured to be partners with them. We look forward to extending their clients\' reach into the Middle East and Africa, and to encouraging investment flows from the Middle East into the exciting opportunities available in the fast-growing Russian economy.\"