Vladimir Putin Meets with Igor Shuvalov

15 October 2018 year

The President assigned the task of continuing work on the coordination of development institutions.

Putin: Igor Ivanovich, pleased to see you again!

Igor Ivanovich, I know that, firstly, you have already taken steps to optimise the work of the institution. Then I would like to hear your suggestions regarding the coordination of the activities of various investment institutions in Russia.

Vnesheconombank’s goal has always been aimed primarily at the development of the economy, the real sector. Coordinating various development institutions can help to achieve the goal by using the most optimal method, the most optimal instruments. In general, what is your progress in this area?

Shuvalov: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! Once again, I would like to thank you for trusting me to work in this area. When I was appointed, I was assigned the task of cooperating with the Government in implementing the May presidential decree. We are in contact with all divisions of the Government, and we are administratively involved in all areas that are specified in the decree.

As for our ability to lend, the Government decided in June on a new financial model of Vnesheconombank, which specifies that we will not be the only lender any longer, with the exception of certain decisions of the President and the Government. We need to learn how to collaborate with major credit institutions so that Vnesheconombank can offer sufficient comfort and take risks to increase the ability of credit institutions to provide financing for the economy.

In the previous period, Vnesheconombank gave loans of about 3 trillion roubles. Currently, in cooperation with our consultants, we believe that, in the next five years, with the new model, Vnesheconombank will be able to make loans for approximately the same amount, provided that our largest credit institutions are involved in this work—Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank—making us able to raise three or four times the amount that I pronounced, or more than 3 trillion roubles. This will be a real contribution to fulfilling the 7 May presidential decree, your decree.

What we are doing for this. First, we have optimised the staffing level within the entire Group; we are working on this. This is not easy; this needs specific conversations with people, an understanding of their situation; but the Group should have the best professionals who would be respected by both the Government and credit institutions. We have already done considerable downsising, Vladimir Vladimirovich, and we have a new staffing structure from 1 October. We have invited some of the best professionals from other credit institutions, thus building a high-grade professional team. We will continue this work in the future.

Another area is the accumulated problem portfolio of Vnesheconombank. Many people read in the press that Vnesheconombank reports a loss. In fact, this is not an operating loss, this is an accounting transaction. This is how we show how we tackle the previously accumulated problems. They are transparent; we do not hide them form the public. We are cooperating with the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance; and for some time, Vnesheconombank will report a loss, while this is not an operating loss, not a loss resulting form from Vnesheconombank’s current activities, but from operations in the past.

We know how to deal with these assets in the best possible way. We do not do it alone, we are cooperating with ministries and governmental agencies, and we are trying, Vladimir Vladimirovich, to fully fulfil our development function in this case. This concerns assets such as wood processing, cement production and agribusiness. We have a huge number of active businesses that are of great importance for regional economies. We are looking at how to involve other business operators and other existing companies in helping us to deal with these assets in such a way as to not lose but, on the contrary, increase their value.

As for the new portfolio, we are using a state-of-the-art risk assessment system and we are working to cause the risks that are evaluated by Vnesheconombank to be unconditionally taken by Sberbank, Gazprombank and VTB. Bearing in mind that, with this kind of work, we will take their risk assessment without additional assessment.

To conduct these transactions, we need capital. We, in a preliminary plan with the Ministry of Finance, as I reported to the Prime Minister, agreed that, as in the case of development banks in many countries and international development banks, our legislation should provide for possible subscribed capital. This is the capital that is used by a credit institution as necessary, and the necessary amount is provided by the Ministry of Finance. That is, capital is not provided in advance, but only when it is needed.

We cooperate with major credit institutions, for example, China Development Bank, banks in Japan, which are now willing to negotiate with us and sign agreements.

As for our accumulated external debt, we have conducted all necessary negotiations and consultations. How to deal with this problem, we agreed. In general, the problem with Vnesheconombank’s capital and our external obligations will be resolved by the end of 2018 if you support such approaches.

Putin: We have discussed this with the previous Government for a long time. You yourself frequently took part in this. The final decisions that are proposed in the draft, in your opinion, will work to rectify the operating figures and enable Vnesheconombank not only to deal with the repayment of long-standing problems but, on the contrary, to perform the function of a development institution?

Shuvalov: Yes, Vladimir Vladimirovich, in its entirety, this will allow us to join the new lending programme, create new businesses, modernise existing businesses; and we will certainly pursue the development goals and fulfil our main function in this case.

Putin: Good.

Origin: Official Internet Resources of the President of Russia