VEB.RF, Yakutiya, Far East Development Fund (FEDF) and Higher School of Economics (HSE) Launch First Russian Social Impact Project

6 june 2019 года
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VEB.RF, Far East Development Fund, Higher School of Economics and the government of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic signed a set of agreements on a pilot education social impact project during the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum.

Social impact projects are a Russian analogue of social impact bonds (SIB), a well know international financial instrument. A particular feature of this instrument is engagement of private investors and private entities to address social tasks. The government steps in to acquire only successful projects with significant social impact. Therefore social impact projects bring together private initiatives, private investment, focus on specific impact, new technologies to meet social tasks.

The project in Yakutia will become the first Russian pilot social impact project. The agreements were signed by: VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairperson Svetlana Yachevskaya, the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund’s CEO Alexey Chekunkov, Head of Institute of Education of Higher School of Economics Isak Frumin, the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya) Chairman Vladimir Solodov. The signing ceremony was attended by VEB.RF’s Chairman Igor Shuvalov and the Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya) Aisen Nikolayev.

The pilot project in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) will take place from 2019 to 2022 to improve pupils’ educational performance. The project is aimed at improvement of general education’s quality, human capital competitiveness development, transformation of general education management and administration mechanism. All the aims combined will guarantee a controlled education quality improvement in the region. Around 5 thousand pupils from 28 schools (including 8 underfilled and 3 small-scale schools) of Khangalassky Municipal District will take part in the project. Target project’s impact is measured via schools’ educational performance index calculated as a weighted sum of the State Final Examinations’ (Basic State Examination and Unified State Examination) and academic competitions’ results.

“The social impact project in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) will become the first SIB project in Russia. We are expecting active regional engagement in these projects. We believe that at least 10 social impact projects in different areas may be launched by 2024 with a total private investment in the amount up to RUB2billion,” Svetlana Yachevskaya emphasized.

Social impact project’s tools may give birth to new project scaling approaches and methods to involve public or municipal services. “In social impact projects not only the service itself matters, but also tangible changes and social effects,” Svetlana Yachevskaya said.

“We see a significant development potential in the Republic’s general education system. The Republic has a goal to get into top fifteen Russian Federation constituent entities with the best quality of education as per the Executive Order of the Head of the Republic “On Strategic Goals for Education Development in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)”. We are launching this project together with VEB.RF, FEDF and HSE, and it should help us create the tools to reach our goal,” Vladimir Solodov said.

National Research University Higher School of Economics was selected for implementation of the project. During three years HSE leading experts will provide additional training (including remote training) to pupils, assist in preparation of pupils’ personal development plans, train project managers and teachers, create professional communities, partnerships between schools, educational networks, act as mentors for teachers and principals, engage pupils’ parents, local community and businesses.

“The Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund is investing into this project. This project is important to us, as if it bears fruit, the project’s approaches and methods may be implemented on the whole territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and other constituent entities of the Far East,” Alexey Chekunkov said.

The Ministry of Finance prepared a draft Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation with guidelines for the constituent entities on pilot test social impact projects implementation in 2019-2024 to promote the development of financial instruments for the social impact projects.

First SIB projects appeared in 2010. The world’s first SIB project was brought about by Great Britain to reduce reoffending. Today the world counts 134 SIB projects in different areas with the lion share of social and employment projects. The total investment amounts to more than USD370million. SIB projects are implemented by Great Britain, USA, Germany, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Columbia etc.

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VEB.RF and RefSoyuz Announce Partnership at SPIEF 2019

6 june 2019 года
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State Development Corporation “VEB.RF” and RefSoyuz LLC entered into an agreement of intent to cooperate on the project to develop a perishable cargo transportation system. The Agreement was signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The document specifies the establishment of partnership relations and the possibilities to finance a project on creating a system of reliable transportation of perishable cargo by rail, with track gauge corresponding to the Russian standards.  

Developing the system of safe transportation of perishable cargo involves improving the foodstuff transportation railway services, increasing the efficiency and transparency of business processes, renewing and modernising the current logistics infrastructure, and introducing innovations into the rolling stock management system.

RefSoyuz’s Deputy Executive Director for Economy and Finance Dina Shmuley said: “Providing the consumers with quality and affordable food is a strategic goal for business and society. We are delighted that VEB.RF as a development institution has expressed its willingness to scrutinise our project. We expect that the overall project investment will exceed fifteen billion roubles.”

“The project will become an important link in the Russian agrilogistics ecosystem and will facilitate the achievement of goals of the project for International Cooperation and Exports related to the growth of food exports up to 45 billion US dollars. We appreciate the cooperation with one of Russia’s logistics leaders and a major railway operator of refrigerated railroad cars,” VEB.RF’s Senior Vice President Anton Perin said.

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Modern Campuses to Be Built in Tomsk and Perm with Involvement of VEB.RF and Russian Ministry of Education and Science

6 june 2019 года
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VEB and Russian Ministry of Education and Science signed a cooperation agreement with Perm Territory and Tomsk Region to carry out a project on creating state-of-the-art multifunctional campuses.

The parties agreed to cooperate in implementing the federal project, Export of Education, aimed at building and operating university campuses in Russian regions.

The document was signed on behalf of VEB.RF by its Chairman Igor Shuvalov, on behalf of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science by the Minister Mikhail Katiukov, on behalf of Perm Territory by its Governor Maxim Reshetnikov, and on behalf of Tomsk Region by its Governor Sergey Zhvachkin.

“To deliver globally competitive higher education and attract foreign students, we should develop the educational infrastructure, since universities need to provide students with a smart environment. A new learning environment will attract both foreign students and Russian students and teachers. Urban residents will also benefit from new infrastructure facilities that will drive forward urban environment development. VEB.RF may become a financial partner and together with private investors carry out projects on campus construction, or it may act as an expert for proper project structuring in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. The PPP mechanism will help to increase campus capacity and enhance the quality of educational and scientific infrastructure under construction,” VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairman Svetlana Yachevskaya said.

“Perm Territory is currently developing a knowledge-oriented economy. In this context, a campus is viewed as not merely an educational institution, but also as a resource for urban and territorial development. More than 2,000 foreign students are currently studying at Perm universities, and we intend to increase their number by 2024 up to 5,000 students. Constructing a university campus is one of the instruments of rebuilding the economy, along with creating a world-class centre for research and education, establishing an IT university, and expanding the technology park network. All these measures will help us to attract active young people that are capable of shaping the future and improving the quality of life for local populations,” Perm Territory’s Governor Maxim Reshetnikov emphasised.

“Tomsk is Russian official student capital. It is the only city in the country with the backbone role of academic organisations outlined in the city charter. With support from the Ministry of Education and Science and VEB.RF, we will not only build a state-of-the-art inter-university campus, but also promote Tomsk as a university city teaching students from 79 countries and 78 Russian regions,” Tomsk Region’s Governor Sergey Zhvachkin commented.

A federal programme, Export of Education, allocates 102.2 billion roubles of the federal budget funds for the engineering, construction and renovation of campuses to accommodate the minimum of 77,600 foreign and non-resident students and academic staff in 2019-2024.

The implementation of this project on a PPP basis without raising additional public budget funds will help to:

  • attract 78 billion roubles worth of extra-budgetary funds, with 2 roubles of private investment got in addition to every rouble out of the public budget funds (the capital grant accounts for no more than 25 - 40% of the project cost);
  • decrease campus construction costs per one student using the public budget funds to 450,000 - 700,000 roubles instead of 1.3 billion roubles specified in the public funding model (through the use of the capital grant and the construction cost reduction);
  • create new additional accommodation places in state-of-the-art campuses for about 30,000 students (Export of Education federal programme map: 77,600 accommodation places);
  • accelerated creation of new accommodation places in contemporary campuses due to the expedited construction with involvement of private partners and the additional financial leverage offered by VEB.RF.
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VEB.RF Makes Equity Investments in Sulphuric Acid and Oleum Producer

6 june 2019 года
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VEB.RF has made equity investments in the authorised capital of Volgatechnool LLC as part of financing an investment project to build a production facility to manufacture K-grade sulphuric acid and refined oleum. Volgatechnool was established by KuibyshevAzot PJSC to carry out the project. The facility is being constructed at the production site in Tolyatti, Samara Region.

“VEB.RF’s equity investments in Volgatechnool promote well-balanced financing at the first stage of the project. The support measures involving equity investments are essential for the development of project finance,” KuibyshevSzot’s General Director Alexander Gerasimenko said.

The investment amount will total 6.3 billion roubles, with 3.8 billion roubles and 2.2 billion roubles to be lent by VEB.RF and Gazprombank, respectively. The decision on VEB.RF’s commitment was approved by the Supervisory Board in December 2018.

“The project will be financed under the Project Financing Factory programme. VEB.RF offered a comprehensive financing solution for the project, involving a special-purpose entity with an equity holding or debt financing through a syndicated loan of 4.7 billion roubles given jointly with Gazprombank.

VEB.RF, Gazprombank и KuibyshevAzot signed a syndicated loan agreement at the Russian Investment Forum 2019 in Sochi.

VEB.RF’s share in the syndicated loan is 2.5 billion roubles. The Factory’s advantage is that all tranches, including the partner bank’s tranche, are government subsidised for the entire length of the loan in respect of fluctuations in the key interest rate,” VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairman Yuriy Korsun said.

The main idea behind the Factory is to provide projects with syndicated loans with government-subsidised interest rates and government-secured bonds. The legal framework took shape in the first half of 2018. VEB.RF is as the Factory’s operator. The Factory is attractive to project initiators because it offers a mechanism to hedge the interest rate risk. A project is eligible for the Factory if it needs an investment of more than 3 billion roubles and has a payback period of up to 20 years. Furthermore, the project initiator must invest at least 20% of the project value.

KuibyshevAzot is a leader in the chemical industry and Russia’s largest manufacturer of caprolactam and polyamide, ranking among the top ten nitrogen producers in the country. Volgatechnool’s products will enable KuibyshevAzot to supply its process chain with its own feedstock. Products resulting from subsequent process stages will contribute to achieving the goals of import substitution and strengthening Russia’s export potential.

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Russia - the Land of Opportunity ANPO and VEB.RF to Engage Young Specialists and Students in Russia’s Economy Digitalisation Projects

6 june 2019 года
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At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, VEB.RF and Russia - the Land of Opportunity Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation entered into an agreement on cooperation and liaison. The aim of the Agreement is to provide the public with professional and career development opportunities and to involve young people and students in VEB.RF’s efforts to deliver the Digital Economy national programme and innovation projects.

“VEB.RF experts have prepared some interesting cases on digital economy for Professional Internship 2.0, a joint project of Russia - the Land of Opportunity and the Russian National Front,” said Aleksey Komissarov, Director General of Russia - the Land of Opportunity ANPO and Co-Chair of the Russian National Front Central Headquarters. “Students are invited to share their vision of Russia’s digitalisation. The authors of best papers will be offered an internship with a company whose task they successfully complete.”

The project platform hosting the cases is due to be launched by the end of June. Contestants will be able to proceed with the cases as early as in September. Prepared by leading federal and regional companies, the cases embrace all fields of specialist training. Overall, the partner employers have prepared more than 600 cases.

“Today, proactive efforts are devoted to building Russia’s digital economy. The success of these efforts would largely depend on our young generation, those who still study, or are already implementing their ideas, or are just about to set up their innovative businesses.” VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairman Aleksey Ivanchenko said. “The task of VEB.RF is to help unlock the potential of young specialists and involve them in projects delivered in the context of the Digital Economy programme.”

Company profiles:

Russia - the Land of Opportunity Autonomous Non-Commercial Organisation was established by the Decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin of 22 May 2018. The Organisation sees its mission in creating conditions for greater social mobility, personal and professional fulfilment of people, and providing Russia with efficient means of social mobility.

Russia - the Land of Opportunity has been developing a platform of the same name comprising eighteen projects: Leaders of Russia executive awards, I am a Professional student competition, My First Business international competition, Volunteer of Russia national competition, Professional Internship 2.0 project, Russian Student Spring festival, Grants Competition of Youth Initiatives, Digital Breakthrough competition, SME Business Navigator web portal, Russian Schoolchildren Movement: Self-Governing Territory competition, Abilimpics craft competition for disabled people, Manage! Russian national youth cup, Thank You acknowledgement initiative, Young Professionals (WorldSkills Russia) movement, Dream with Me charity project, League of Camp Counsellors competition, My Country, My Russia competition, and CASE-IN international engineering championship.

VEB.RF is a state development corporation. In partnership with commercial banks and investors, VEB.RF participates in national projects designed to support high value-added manufacturing, non-resource exports, urban agglomeration and infrastructure development. VEB.RF coordinates activities of the largest national development institutions: Russian Export Center, DOM.RF, RSMB Corporation, the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund, MONOGORODA.RF Foundation.

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