Dmitry Medvedev’s opening address:
Today we are holding a regular meeting of the Supervisory Board. I’d like to say a few words to begin. Our agenda is extensive – we have more than 20 items on it. We’ll discuss topics associated with funding infrastructure, construction of Olympic facilities, lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and promotion of high-tech exports of Russian companies. Before discussing our agenda items, I’d like to make one more important point – VEB has raised 20 billion rubles on the Russian bond market. As I see it, this successful bond placement has generated foreign investors’ strong interest– their share in this transaction amounted almost to a quarter. I hope that this testifies to their confidence in our bond market and the Bank itself. This is a considerable accomplishment.
Now I’d like to move to the aircraft industry, which is a priority of our Government’s policy. This October, amendments have been introduced to the Rules for extending subsidies to Russian manufacturers of aircraft, helicopters and aircraft engines, as part of reimbursing them for expenses on loans received for technical re-equipment and leasing payments for technological equipment. In this respect, I have signed a relevant resolution. This will help raise long-term loans for the industry, and implement projects to create new aircraft. At the same time, we of course should promote our aircraft to foreign markets, using all available instruments, including credits to customers and insurance of exports.
Today we must take a decision on funding international sales of the Sukhoi Superjet-100, or to be more precise loans worth a total of up to 2.5 billion dollars to foreign buyers of these airliners. I’d like to stress that this is very important, although such transactions should be conducted on a case-to-case basis. Our goal is to increase sales of these aircraft in the foreign market using mechanisms that our country received by joining the WTO.
There is one more issue concerning promotion of our high-tech products to world markets. Vnesheconombank has set up an Export Credit Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR), it helps our exporters to tap new markets. We have ambitious objectives – by 2014, the amount of support to be provided should reach about 500 billion rubles and the share of insured non-primary exports should grow from the current 1% to 10%. We need mechanisms for protecting exporters against risks associated with foreign economic activities and we also need more flexible terms of funding export transactions. Two measures are being proposed in this respect. First, we must discuss an issue of extending long-term government-backed guarantees in the amount of up to $10 billion by Vnesheconombank to EXIAR. Second, we must review options for supporting high-tech exports, as suggested by the National Business Initiative. This deals with Vnesheconombank’s and EXIAR’s funding of export supplies and investment projects being implemented by Russian companies abroad.
One more important issue that we have been discussing for the last few months and with respect to which I conducted a special meeting is Vnesheconombank’s participation in the development of the Far East and the Baikal region. Last year, JSC the Far East and the Baikal Region Development Fund was established to encourage cooperation with regional authorities, major financial institutions, funds, investment companies and naturally private companies. There are a lot of business ideas in the Far East in such areas as fuel-and-energy complex, smelting industry, timber and fishing industries and infrastructure. They have prepared a whole booklet on this subject. The Fund selects projects that can be carried out on the terms of co-financing. We must primarily invest in the most effective projects with a higher level of preparation. Today, we’ll discuss an allocation of 15 billion rubles from the federal budget through VEB’s capitalization to the charter capital of the said Fund. But this is only the first step. In the future, we’ll probably provide other funds to it, and some of the new projects in the Far East will be carried out this year and next year under other programs. According to our current preliminary estimate, total funding will exceed 100 billion rubles.
Now I’d like to say a few words about lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. I’ll remind you that under VEB’s strategy, this support is to amount 150 billion rubles by the end of 2015. The Bank is cooperating with international financial institutions in this line of activity. It is establishing an international fund to support business with German partners and has already invested a significant sum of $150 million in this project. The Bank’s partners have committed the same amount of money. The most important thing is that the fund gives top priority to long-term lending to industrial enterprises and this is particularly important for us. We’ll also discuss modernization of energy infrastructure – the agenda includes a number of items on this subject. Here I mean extending loans to loans to TGK-9 for the construction of the new Bereznikovskaya combined heat and power station in the Perm Territory and the Nizhneturinskaya GRES power plant in the Sverdlovsk region. These are long-term projects and their payback period exceeds or amount to about 10 years. Their implementation will make it possible to meet demands for heat and electricity in the regions, not only today but also in the near future, and will create conditions for the comprehensive development of the relevant territories regions.
There are also other items on our extensive agenda. Let’s get to work.
Vnesheconombank Chairman Vladimir Dmitriev holds a news conference following a meeting of the Bank’s Supervisory Board
Vladimir Dmitriev: More than twenty issues were discussed at the Vnesheconombank (VEB) Supervisory Board meeting, including issues related to forming a comprehensive system to support high-tech Russian exports with respect to specific projects. We also discussed sales of Sukhoi-Superjet and the first shipment of 11 jetliners under a loan arrangement which will include VEB resources, Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR) insurance support and VEB-Leasing. We agreed upon main parameters of this transaction. Given Russia's accession to the WTO and OECD best practices, a decision was taken to create a comprehensive system to support high-tech exports based on the business experience gained from selling the Sukhoi-Superjet to third countries.
A decision was also taken to improve cooperation between VEB subsidiaries, that is, VEB proper, the Export Insurance Agency of Russia, Roseximbank and VEB-Leasing – with the participation of relevant federal executive bodies, including those responsible for Russian industrial exports and high-tech products. What this means is creating a system of cooperation and a system of submitting relevant procedures for such cooperation to the Supervisory Board when considering issues related to supporting industrial exports. We plan to submit these procedures within a month. Under these procedures, upon considering specific applications for industrial export support, VEB jointly with its subsidiaries and executive bodies is to take relevant decisions within two months. Some additions will be introduced to Roseximbank's (Russian Export- Import Bank) operation, so that this VEB’s subsidiary can finance supplies of high-tech products manufactured by enterprises classified as small and medium-sized (primarily medium-sized) enterprises..
In addition, we have discussed the system of bank guarantees extended by VEB to the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR). The federal budget allows for $10 billion to this end. VEB will be responsible for extending the greater part of guarantee support to EXIAR.
Besides these issues, we have discussed the establishment of a special fund to support medium-sized enterprises in Russia with the leading foreign national development institution KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau). VEB and KfW intend to invest $150 million each in this fund. We realistically believe that such foreign development institutions as the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and some foreign funds can participate in a fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia that is being created. This support will be provided by acquiring stakes in small and medium-sized enterprises. But this is not the only form of support for small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia. As you know, there is a program of extending KfW loans to some Russian banks with VEB’s guarantee support for those regional banks that work with small and medium-sized enterprises.
We also have a program to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the North-West Federal District. Thus, in our view, we are forming a pretty attractive system of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in terms of funding amounts and financial conditions. In addition, we also considered some specific VEB investment projects at the meeting. These include projects on energy infrastructure and financing the construction and modernization of two large stations, the Bereznikovskaya Thermal Power Station and some projects in the Urals. We have discussed some technical changes with respect to funding Olympic facilities, that is, Krasnaya Polyana, Roza Khutor, and the construction of a hotel accommodating 400 people, which is being implemented by the Mostovik Company.
Besides, we discussed some projects to support the defense industrial complex. Here we mean making significant investments in and providing guarantee support for some defense enterprises by VEB.
We have also reviewed the current system to support investment projects in the Chechen Republic: we have discussed the projects that will receive VEB loans guarantees, without federal budget guarantees. In such cases, security will be provided in the form of funds extended by the federal budget for creating a special guarantee fund for the Chechen Republic. Currently, it amounts to some 2 billion rubles, and this makes it possible to extend credits to fund some projects in the Chechen Republic with guarantees granted by this fund. Currently, we are actively working on about six projects in agriculture and related industries, logistics, construction materials, transport and energy infrastructure. To summarize, in the short term, the new system will enable us to fund a whole number of projects.
These are the main conclusions of today’s Supervisory Board meeting.
Question: Could you elaborate on the deal involving those 11 Superjets 100, who are the buyers, what are the supply periods what financial institutions are involved?
Vladimir Dmitriev: The buyers are companies with which Sukhoi-Superjet has firm commitments. Jointly with the Ministry of Economic Development we have worked out main loan terms, making it possible to maintain competitive rates and thereby ensure sales of these jets to other countries. What is important here? Since the production of these aircraft involves international cooperation and major components and engines are manufactured in cooperation with French and Italian partners, export insurance agencies of relevant countries participate in promoting these jets abroad. These agencies include COFACE in France and SACHE Group in Italy. We’ll have to review the agreement that VEB had been signed earlier with these agencies because the Export Insurance Agency of Russia becomes their full partner. Under the current agreement, VEB will be replaced by the Export Insurance Agency of Russia. As far as bank guarantees for EXIAR are concerned, they will apply not only to high-tech exports but also to Russian investments in third countries. Other specific terms of the transaction constitute a commercial secret, so I will not comment on them.
Question: What countries will buy these 11 jets? Who is the buyer?
Vladimir Dmitriev: I have hinted these are the countries and the companies with firm contractual commitments with Sukhoi-Superjet.
Question: Is $2.5 billion the amount being extended?
Vladimir Dmitriev: Yes, up to $2.5 billion.
Question: Could you say what funds are being made available for those two thermal power stations?
Vladimir Dmitriev: If I’m not mistaken, VEB is providing 11 billion for the first project, and 15 billion for the second project.
Vladimir Dmitriev: Rubles.
Question: What are the terms?
Vladimir Dmitriev: These terms are acceptable terms for the borrower. That is a long-term loan extended for over 10 years.
Question: And what funds will VEB extend to defense enterprises?
Vladimir Dmitriev: Over 20 billion rubles.
Question: Mr Dmitriev, can you say whether the state corporation is considering the possibility of extending loans to Rosneft to fund a transaction on acquiring TNK-BP?
Vladimir Dmitriev: No. Thank you.
Origin: Internet-Portal of the Government of the Russian Federation
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
D.A. Medvedev: Good afternoon again. Today we are holding the first meeting of the Bank's Supervisory Board with several new members. The Board now includes more of my deputies, who are responsible for activities in the relevant sectors. I hope that they will help enhance the efficiency of the Supervisory Board.
I would also like to congratulate Mr Dmitriev (Vladimir Dmitriev, Chairman of the Board of Vnesheconombank) on his new appointment, which was made on June 18. We wish you success in your work.
We have several major issues to discuss today, such as reviewing the report on VEB's performance for the year 2011 and some others. It's been five years since the law which formed the legal basis for the creation of Vnesheconombank was signed. On the whole, the Bank has been a success as a development institution and has played an important role during the crisis. By the way, we’ve just visited the customer service area, where we could watch transactions being conducted, and we talked about measures that had been taken during the crisis to improve the situation and support the economy. Naturally, the Bank supported the real sector of the economy and the Russian financial system, focusing on modernizing the economy and creating conditions for sustainable development of territories. Today, Vnesheconombank operates as a development group and includes several specialized institutions, such as subsidiaries, specialized companies and several other organizations that are united by the same goal. VEB’s loan portfolio as a development bank increased by 4.7 times compared with 2007 when the Bank was established and it amounted to 505 billion rubles as of January 1, 2012. The Bank is now participating in financing 112 investment projects, including modern factories, infrastructure facilities and a new passenger terminal at the international airport in Vladivostok, the automotive cluster in Kaluga, the modernization of carriage building works in Tikhvin and several other projects. Investments in innovation projects account for more than a third of VEB’s portfolio. Finally, VEB is the founder of the fund managed by the operator of the programs for funding innovative projects of the Skolkovo Foundation, known as the VEB-Innovations Fund. The Fund’s financial resources in the amount of 1 billion rubles will be provided to conduct required scientific and technological expert examination, work out plans for commercializing innovative developments and prepare project documentation.
Last year, the Bank’s strategy up to 2016 was approved. The performance indicators included in it are quite ambitious: the Bank is to invest about 2 trillion rubles, almost 2.5% of GDP, in the Russian economy until the end of 2015. First and foremost, we should focus on the goals that we have set ourselves. Just like in any other organizations, we have to focus on improving corporate governance and internal controls within Vnesheconombank Group, as well as on ensuring adequate transparency levels of corporate governance bodies.
Opinions about VEB’s future as a state corporation vary. I formulated a certain position some time ago. We should approach this issue in a balanced way. In the near future, we will need to decide what the state can do to relieve VEB of some of its responsibilities, so that the Bank does not have to divert its resources for performing non-core functions. We’ll have to discuss all these questions in the near future.
I’ll just name two issues on the agenda. Firstly, we’ll discuss opening a credit line worth 8.3 billion rubles for the reconstruction of Izhevsk Thermal Power Plant 1. The project involves the construction of a modern combined-cycle plant at the existing plant to cover the deficit of heat and electricity supplies to Izhevsk. The borrower is TGK-5. Secondly, we’ll consider a number of applications for funding the construction of Olympic facilities. All of them are included in the program for the construction of Olympic facilities and the development of Sochi as a mountain and climatic resort.
Of course, these are not all the issues on today’s agenda. There are many more of them and most of them are fairly standard in nature. Let's get down to work. And now the floor is given to Mr. Dmitriev. Please, go ahead.
V.A. Dmitriev: Mr Medvedev and members of the Supervisory Board, first I would like to thank you for your positives assessment of Vnesheconombank’s activities. I realize that in part it is designed to encourage us in advance, but let me assure you that the Bank’s team is professional enough to accomplish the tasks assigned to us.
In fact, a large number of issues on today’s agenda are related not only to the activities of Vnesheconombank but also to activities of its subsidiaries. We happen to be the sole shareholder; therefore, all matters that need to be discussed at the shareholders’ meetings must be supported by the Supervisory Board as Vnesheconombank’s and its subsidiaries principal corporate governance body.
The first item on the agenda is the approval of Vnesheconombank’s annual report. I want to state outright that we have followed all the required procedures established at Vnesheconombank that are needed to submit issues to the Bank’s Supervisory Board. First of all, these are corporate governance bodies of our Bank, the Bank's Management Board and the working group responsible for preparing materials for the Supervisory Board’s meetings. All items on today’s agenda were agreed upon during the July 3 meeting of the working group responsible for preparing materials for this Supervisory Board. We have ironed out all inconsistencies and disagreements so all the items on today’s agenda have been fully agreed upon with the interested ministries and agencies and the shareholders who presented the interests of the Supervisory Board members to the working group. Therefore, we could go ahead and discuss each issue in detail, but to save the time I’d rather deal with specific items on the agenda that are, in my opinion, of crucial importance to us.
In particular, I would like to draw your attention to funding the construction of Olympic facilities. The point is that the draft resolution of our Supervisory Board regarding two facilities did not include a provision reflecting presidential instructions regarding the signing of agreements with Olimpstroy on the funding of projects, one of which is an investment project overseen by independent trade unions and the other is a project with regard to which we haven’t signed an agreement with Olimpstroy yet. Therefore, today we’ll include them in the draft resolution: these are Severspetsstroy and the project overseen by the Association of Independent Trade Unions of Russia.
The next issue that I would like to raise is also related to Olympic facilities. I am referring to the Roza Khutor project whose budget has significantly increased. We believe it would be justified from the point of view of securing Vnesheconombank’s interests and covering its risks to limit warranties of the organizations that are related to the project initiators to 15% of their assets of excess costs, if the cost of the project exceeds the original amount for reasons beyond their control. This position has also been included in a draft decision of the Supervisory Board.
The next item that I would like to bring to your attention is related to a range of directives issued by the Government and the Prime Minister on searching for ways to fund the projects of domestic heavy machinery and power engineering enterprises on terms and conditions that are competitive with those of foreign suppliers of relevant equipment. As you know, our businesses lose out for one simple reason: they cannot keep up with the financial conditions dictated by foreign suppliers; financial terms are linked to borrowing periods and, most importantly, to borrowing costs. So, we request you to give instructions to Vnesheconombank and line ministries, including recommendations to the Central Bank, to consider the possibility of extending credits on the terms that would match those offered by foreign exporters of relevant equipment.
We have reached understanding on most of the other issues, and they are included in the draft resolution of the Supervisory Board. Of these issues, I would like to single out the issue of re-financing or reassignment in favor of Vnesheconombank of the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill’s accounts payable amounting to about 2 billion rubles owed to a number of creditors including Alfa Bank, Rusal Group and some other creditors. The position of Vnesheconombank and the working group responsible for preparing materials for the Supervisory Board meeting is as follows: refinancing of these loans or reassignment of accounts payable should be based on a government program for the future of the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill and a corresponding program for its further modernization and rehabilitation, or shutting it down and dealing with the waste problem, etc. Any other scenario would leave Vnesheconombank to pay back the loans to the plant’s lenders and be saddled with an unresolved and long-standing problem of what to do with the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill. We would like you to support the following approach: Vnesheconombank will participate in funding the Baikal Pulp and paper Mill on the condition that the government and line ministries and agencies decide on the future of this enterprise.
I would also like to separately discuss confidential issues that we haven’t discussed at the working group meeting…
Dmitry Medvedev: All right, you can report on them confidentially then.
Vladimir Dmitriev: I think I’ve highlighted all the key points. If the Supervisory Board members have anything to add …
Dmitry Medvedev: Let’s get down to work.
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Before the meeting of the Supervisory Board Dmitry Medvedev visited the customer service area of Vnesheconombank’s currency and financial operations directorate and the exhibition of archive documents from VEB’s repository.
Origin: Internet-Portal of the Government of the Russian Federation