Blockchain-Based Project for Real Property Registration to Start in January 2018

20 december 2017 года
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Vnesheconombank’s blockchain commune has hosted a meeting discussing the launch of the joint pilot project of Vnesheconombank and the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography of the Russian Federation to use blockchain solutions for the registration of real property. The meeting was attended by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Sergey Gorkov, Deputy Economic Development Minister and Head of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography Viktoria Abramchenko, Head of the Federal Taxation Service Mikhail Mishustin, representatives of agencies and non-profit organisations. The meeting discussed the project’s main objectives and the possible deadlines for its phased implementation.


Igor Shuvalov emphasised the need to ensure that the blockchain solution for the registration of real property would be fully functional before making amendments to legislation. “It is important that the new system should be convenient for people and reduce their expenses. A digital economy should be able to provide comprehensive services, jointly using private and public resources,” the First Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Vnesheconombank is carrying out six blockchain-based pilot projects, but the project for the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography is currently the largest and most important. The launch is scheduled for January 2018. The database of real property will be exported from the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography into the blockchain, and people will be able to use it. The access interface will enable users to see and understand the blockchain component of the database,” Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Sergey Gorkov said.

“A lot of countries have announced their intention to introduce blockchains into the real property registration systems, and we are beginning this process as early as January. We want to test the technology, assess its benefits for users of our services. Its obvious advantages are data continuity, transparency and transaction speed. In addition, we are investigating the possibilities of employing machine learning technology for automatic legal due diligence of transactions. In combination with blockchain technology, this can restructure all governmental information resources in the near future,” Victoria Abramchenko said.


“Blockchain technology is able to protect information from misuse and facilitates data control. It will allow people to remotely receive legally important services, businesses to reduce costs related to control measures, the government to apply more sophisticated technology and, in general, rebuild processes and manage information in a new way. Blockchain technology has the potential for bringing down infrastructure costs with improved reliability and security,” a spokesperson for Igor Shuvalov’s office said.


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Million-Rouble Idea on Air: First Episode Won by Motorika Innovative Prosthetics

13 december 2017 года
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Vnesheconombank’s start-up game show Million-Rouble Idea has premiered on NTV. The winning team of the first episode was Motorika, designers of robotic prosthetics for children.

The start-ups featuring in the first episode of Million-Rouble Idea were judged by Sergey Gorkov, Chairman of Vnesheconombank; Alexander Chernov, Senior Vice President of the Skolkovo Foundation; Alexander Galitsky, Managing Partner of Almaz Capital; Alexey Repik, Chairman of Business Russia and the founder of R-Pharm; and Sergey Zhukov, a pop musician and the owner of the family-run confectionery business Cupcake Story.


The contestants are also evaluated by the audience: any participating start-up can be financially supported by SMS or by payment through Boomstarter. More than 1,100 viewers of the first episode took this opportunity, paying over 1.6 million roubles. In addition, Million-Rouble Idea became popular on the Web: social network users enthusiastically shared the game video and posted their opinions.

“The Million-Rouble Idea game show has two goals. First, we wanted to focus public attention on high-tech start-ups, young inventors and young talent as a whole. Besides, we wanted to support domestic businesspeople, who know how to commercialise their high-tech ideas, and help them to earn money from their intelligence in Russia. Russia is rich in talent, and we received a total of more than 500 applications. These inventions are designed to make our life easier or help people in trouble to lead a normal life. The show features a lot of socially significant start-ups. This makes us believe again in such values as humanity and compassion. Even if a project does not win, millions of viewers will see it anyway,” Sergey Gorkov, Chairman of Vnesheconombank, said.

“Personally, I give preference to teamwork. If you invest in a project, you should be prepared to be a long-time team member and understand that you will be part of a close-knit, good, skilled and trainable team. Second, it is the market that they can enter. Then, a start-up is assessed for its innovation,” Alexander Galitsky, Managing Partner of Almaz Capital, said.

Motorika, led by robotics engineer Ilya Chekh, designs several types of prostheses. Superhero-style functional prosthetics help children with disabilities to participate in all activities at school and in life. Sophisticated bionic prosthetics are intended to assist adults at work.

In addition to Motorika, the first episode featured four innovation business projects: Altair VR, a VR planetarium; Elementaree, an innovative food delivery service; Iron Pillow, a spine protection system for vehicles; QRepublik, a medical information application designed for use in case of an emergency.

For two weeks, the judges will evaluate start-up innovation and commercialisation. In addition to Motorika, six projects will go through to the final of the show. Three finalists will become the prize winners eligible for 25, 20 and 15 million roubles for business development.

The next episode of Million-Rouble Idea is due to air on NTV at 00:25, 13 December. The game show will feature the designers of a remotely piloted drone, a mobile app for counterfeit protection, an exercise machine for manual dexterity restoration, Russia’s first mass-produced LED modules for motor vehicles and an online money box for children and adults.

Under the agreement between Vnesheconombank and the Roscongress Foundation, the 2017 Russian Investment Forum in Sochi will enable the winning start-ups to pitch to Russian and foreign investors at the Foundation’s key economic forums and the field sessions of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia and abroad.

The media sponsors of the project are Rambler News Service and Russia’s leading high-technology and innovation media outlet Hightech.

State Corporation “Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank)” is a national development bank and one of Russia’s largest financial institutions. Established in 1924, the Bank has operated under the special Federal Law “On Bank for Development” since 2007. In accordance with the Development Strategy until 2021, Vnesheconombank will focus its activities on financing for high-technology industrial projects, infrastructure development, support for non-resource exports, support for innovations and projects of the National Technology Initiative.

NTV is Russia’s largest private television channel with a nationwide broadcasting network. Founded in 1993, the television network operates six NTV-branded channels: NTV, a major nationwide television channel; three subscription-based thematic channels (NTV Serial, NTV Stil and NTV Pravo); international programming (NTV-Mir and NTV-America). NTV broadcasts in all Russian regions, has an audience share of 98.6% and traditionally ranks among Russia’s top three television networks.

The Roscongress Foundation is the largest organiser of conventions and exhibitions.

The Roscongress Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential and strengthening the country’s image by organising conventions, exhibitions and public events. The Foundation develops substantive content for such events, providing companies and organisations with advice, information and expert guidance, and offering comprehensive evaluation, analysis, and coverage of the Russian and global economic agendas. It offers administrative services and promotional support for business projects and helps to attract investment, including in the form of public-private partnerships.

Today, its annual programme includes events held from Montevideo to Vladivostok, offering an opportunity to bring together global business leaders, experts, the media and government officials in one place, creating favourable conditions for dialogue and the promotion of new ideas and projects, and assisting in the creation of social enterprise and charity projects.







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VEB and SREI approve principal terms and provisions to establish Russian-Indian IT and Innovation Fund

12 december 2017 года
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Vnesheconombank, VEB-Innovations and an Indian company SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd, a Kanoria Foundation entity, and one of India’s largest holistic infrastructure institutions, with the support of Roscongress Foundation signed an agreement on the terms and conditions to establish a Russian-Indian IT and Innovation Fund with the target size of investors’ commitment amounting to USD 200 million. This agreement has become a real example of implementing the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding on the support of the Russian export and the development of Russian-Indian cooperation between Vnesheconombank and SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017.


On the part of Vnesheconombank, the Agreement was signed by the Chairman Sergey Gorkov, on the part of VEB-Innovations - by the Director General Kirill Bulatov, and on the part of SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd - by the Chairman and Managing Director Hemant Kanoria.

The Fund is designed to attract investment in innovative companies focused on the development of cooperation between Russia and India. Particular emphasis will be placed on promising inventions based on a strong scientific and technological base of Russia and India. This will help facilitate an innovative transformation of both economies. The Fund will also help build up trade in Russian and Indian cutting-edge technologies and their transfer to other countries. The parties have already started to identify projects for the Fund’s pipeline, which will include projects of Russian innovative companies.

As a next step, the parties will proceed to creating a corporate structure of the Fund, with operating activities scheduled to begin prior to the end of Q2 2018.

Apart from the Fund, VEB and SREI are actively promoting Russian high-technology exports in the Indian market.

“We expect the Russian-Indian Fund to help boost trade and economic cooperation between our two countries. Such platform is of crucial importance as it will facilitate a pipeline of projects and joint assessment and financing of these projects. For many IT companies, the Russian market is not enough for distributing their products. And cooperation with SREI will help them enter the market of India and the Asia-Pacific region”, said Vnesheconombank Chairman Sergey Gorkov.

“Information technologies and innovations are very quick processes, and our cooperation is also rapidly evolving. In June, we signed a memorandum of understanding. And next year the Fund will be ready to make the first investment”, said SREI Chairman and Managing Director Hemant Kanoria.

SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited (SIFL) is one of the leading independent financial institutions and infrastructure financial conglomerates in India. Founded by the Kanoria brothers in 1989, it specialises on capital markets, including M&A transactions, venture investment and project financing. Total assets under the Group’s management is around USD10bn. SREI has been operating in Russia since 2005.

Vnesheconombank (VEB), officially called State Corporation “Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank)” is a national development bank and one of Russia’s largest financial institutions. Established in 1924, Vnesheconombank has been operating in compliance with the special Federal Law “On Bank for Development” since 2007. The Bank’s supreme governing body is the Supervisory Board headed by Chairman of the Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev. According to the VEB Strategy 2021, Vnesheconombank priority financing areas include high value added manufacturing, infrastructure, non-commodity exports, innovation and the National Technological Initiative (NTI) projects.

VEB Innovations LLC (VEB Innovations) was established by Vnesheconombank as its venture capital arm, a platform for development of strategic partnerships and creation of joint funds with Russian and international partners for investments in technology venture projects. Its focus also includes search and selection of unique projects and their financing. VEB Innovations goal is also to support the National Technology Initiative (NTI), digital ecomony projects, to attract co-investors, assist Russian companies in entering international markets.

Roscongress Foundation – a major organizer of congress and exhibition events

The Roscongress Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential and strengthening the country’s image by organizing conventions, exhibitions, and public events. The Foundation develops substantive content for such events, providing companies and organizations with advice, information, and expert guidance, and offering comprehensive evaluation, analysis, and coverage of the Russian and global economic agendas. It offers administrative services and promotional support for business projects and helps to attract investment, including in the form of public-private partnerships.

Today, its annual programme includes events held from Montevideo to Vladivostok, offering an opportunity to bring together global business leaders, experts, the media, and government officials in one place, creating favourable conditions for dialogue and the promotion of new ideas and projects, and assisting in the creation of social enterprise and charity projects.


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Vnesheconombank-Supported LNG Production Facility in Operation in Yamal

8 december 2017 года
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An official ceremony took place in Sabetta, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, to mark the first shipment of liquefied natural gas from the Yamal LNG Plant. The ceremony was held in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Put into operation with the support of Vnesheconombank, the new LNG production facility is to produce up to 16.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas and up to 1.2 million tonnes of natural gas condensate per year. With its potential for developing one of the world’s largest gas-producing areas and setting up new promising hydrocarbon delivery routes via the Northern Sea Route, the project has strategic significance for Russia. The project included building a sea port and airport.

The project is operated by Yamal LNG, a joint venture of NOVATEK (50.1%), Total (20%), CNPC (20%) and Silk Road Fund (9.9%). As part of its export support functions, Vnesheconombank issued a bank guarantee for the equivalent of 3 billion US dollars to secure NOVATEK’s obligation to service the debt of Yamal LNG.


“The Yamal LNG Project is one of the largest in Russia, having strategic significance for the global energy market. The bank guarantee issued by Vnesheconombank helped the project to receive international financing. The guarantee was accepted, which proves that foreign, including Chinese, lenders have every confidence in Vnesheconombank Group,” Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Sergey Gorkov said. “Drawing on many years of experience in the Chinese market and relying on our vast network of partners and our long-standing trust-based relationships with key players in the Chinese financial sector, we are working to set up mechanisms to help Russian exporters with entry into Asian markets. The Yamal LNG Project is a shining example of cooperation between Russia and Asia-Pacific countries.”


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First Bond Offerings of Vnesheconombank’s Project Financing Factory Scheduled for 2018

8 december 2017 года
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Vnesheconombank’s First Deputy Chairman and Member of the Board Dmitry Kurdyukov told the Cbonds Russian Bond Congress in Saint Petersburg about the bond offerings scheduled by Vnesheconombank’s Project Financing Factory for as early as the first half of 2018.

The Factory is financially structured in a truly innovative way. This streamlines risk allocation among all financing project actors. In the first phase, a borrower receives a multi-tranche syndicated loan, with Vnesheconombank taking on the roles of syndicate agent and collateral manager.


“The second phase is the issuance of tranche-backed bonds. Although similar structured financing and mortgage-backed securitisation products have been available for more than 10 years, the model offered by the Factory is expected to make a real breakthrough in the Russian capital market. Bond issues will amount to 10–30 billion roubles, which will ensure their high liquidity. Such government-backed bonds will be notable for their increased reliability,” Dmitry Kurdyukov said.

A long-term tranche is initially financed by Vnesheconombank and then assigned to the bond issuer, a special-purpose vehicle (SPV). The Factory will enable the SPV to acquire loan receivables and, starting from 1 June 2018, to lend at its discretion as the syndicate manager.

“The SPV is organised as Vnesheconombank’s wholly owned subsidiary. Vnesheconombank will keep care of bond performance until the maturity date by undertaking to replace all toxic assets of the SPV,” Dmitry Kurdyukov said.

As for the characteristics of these bonds, the concept of collateralised debt obligations is being introduced into legislation. CDOs will make it possible to form a pool of bond issues that have equal seniority and are issued in different tranches but backed by the same collateral. The assets of the SPV are given as collateral for all bond issues to the bondholders. The nominal amount of outstanding bonds is not in excess of the asset value at any time. The SPV bond portfolio is dynamic. Its value is expected to increase to 300 billion roubles.


The SPV has plans to issue both fixed-rate bonds and floating-rate notes, such as securities linked to the Bank of Russia’s key rate. All of the bond issues will be rated by a Russian credit rating agency.


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