VEB.RF Issues First 20 Billion Roubles of Surety Bonds in Favour of Sberbank and VTB to Guarantee SME Lending

31 march 2020 года
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State Development Corporation VEB.RF issued first surety bonds worth 20 billion roubles each in favour of Sberbank and VTB Bank.

In total, VEB.RF plans to issue surety bonds totalling 100 billion roubles in favour of Russian systemically important banks and SME Bank. The surety bonds are to secure SME’s obligations to repay zero-rate loans allocated for wage payment.

“Now it is critically important to offer timely support to small businesses. The programme should involve entrepreneurs with the aggregate headcount of about 1.5 million. We are capable to flexibly meet the needs of the Russian economy and tackle the tasks entrusted to us by the government. All development institutions and commercial banks should operate as one team to implement the support agenda. VEB.RF is currently implementing the necessary corporate decisions. We have developed and are using certain financial instruments including the guarantee programme. This allows us to create new products which will be highly demanded in the crisis environment,” VEB.RF’s Chairman Igor Shuvalov said.

The decision on expanding SME access to preferential loans and granting zero-rate loans for wage payment to SME employees has been adopted by the Russian Government.

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VEB.RF and Doctor Nearby Offer Free Telemedicine Support to Russian Citizens

30 march 2020 года
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State Development Corporation VEB.RF and Doctor Nearby telemedicine service announce the launch of a federal project aimed at providing free telemedicine support to all Russian nationals. From today onward, citizens of the Russian Federation can obtain remote medical advice not only from therapists, pediatricians and general practitioners, but also from key specialty doctors. The advisory services will include a wide range of issues relating to different medical problems and will extend beyond preventing the spread of coronavirus. The project uses the medical, technology and manufacturing capabilities of Doctor Nearby, is organizationally and financially backed by VEB.RF and is aimed at improving the accessibility of medical care during the pandemic.

The difficult epidemiological situation impedes the provision of ongoing medical assistance to the most vulnerable groups of population: patients with chronic diseases, older people and families with young children. The project for providing remote medical assistance launched by VEB.RF and Doctor Nearby is designed to ensure interaction between Russian nationals and key medical specialists and provide online professional support to the population, which should be a priority under the current circumstances.

VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov: “Now, when it is absolutely necessary to follow lockdown to keep others safe, remote medical services are much in demand. VEB.RF as one of development institutions sees improving access to telemedicine as one of its major tasks. We closely cooperate with our partner, Doctor Nearby. As of today, Doctor Nearby’s qualified staff can offer free online advice for all Russian residents not only about coronavirus symptoms and treatment, but also about other diseases. We hope that easily accessible telemedicine services will help to preserve the health of our citizens.”

Remote medical advice is provided through a mobile app, website and dedicated telephone channel. Patients can get help from therapists and pediatricians twenty-four seven and from specialty doctors only by previous appointment. Russian nationals will have access to free telemedicine at least during a month, with an option to prolong the services depending on the epidemiological situation in the country.

Healthcare development projects are high on VEB.RF’s investment agenda. Telemedicine services help to improve the accessibility of quality medical care to people, and online video consulting is particularly essential nowadays upon the introduction of mandatory social distancing amid coronavirus threat. For that reason, in December 2019 Doctor Nearby and VEB Ventures, VEB.RF’s specialized subsidiary, signed an agreement on main terms of financing.

Today VEB.RF and Doctor Nearby launch a joint social project aiming to reduce the speed of coronavirus spreading in Russia. Due to worsening epidemiological situation the authorities introduce new measures obliging people to observe lockdown. The national health service gives major focus to effective infection control during the pandemic. Our goal is to help doctors, who are on the front line of combating the disease, by providing them with convenient instruments of interaction with patients and fulfilling our commitments to organize free online medical support for Russian people. The devoted efforts are meant to help people to avoid health risks during the pandemic. It is very important to support people needing medical services under lockdown restrictions. Under the circumstances, telemedicine will become a convenient and safe instrument for efficient interaction between doctors and patients. We are confident that our project will expand the range of healthcare system opportunities by launching new digital services.

Today, when all borders are shut temporarily, digital interaction channels operating in important areas such as healthcare become critically important for responding to emerging industrial and social challenges.

Denis Shvetsov, General Director of Doctor Nearby: 

“For such a large-scale and significant project, we will employ both our capacities and those of our partners. We intend to involve other Moscow and regional clinical networks. Our efforts evoke a widespread response from the professional community. Highly skilled doctors from various regions are eager to assume some important duties and responsibilities to ensure that all patients have appropriate access to medical services. We are ready to train doctors in technologies and online interaction specifics in order to meet the growing demand for medical care from the population. I am confident that this digital interaction between doctors and patients will continue into the future, when the epidemiological situation improves.   

This is a very complicated project whose implementation requires the accomplishment of multiple tasks. We have not only involved more doctors in the project but also upgraded our IT-infrastructure. We have been convinced of the readiness of Doctor Nearby’s platform for a significant load increase and we urge people to use the telemedicine service to tackle health issues.

The project is largely due to VEB.RF’s active social policy and strong support.

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