Bank Syndicate Begins to Provide Financing for RT-Invest’s Largest Energy-from-Waste Project Near Moscow

2 april 2020 года
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The syndicate of banks, with VEB.RF’s commitment of 50%, has provided the first tranche to AGC-1, a special purpose entity of RT-Invest, under the Energy from Waste large-scale investment project. The RUB110bn syndicated loan agreement for the period until 2035 was signed in February 2020.

The project involves building four energy-from-waste plants for municipal solid waste (MSW) in the Moscow Region. The plants will be built in the Voskresensk, Solnechnogorsk, Naro-Fominsk and Bogorodsky municipalities.

The project is consistent with a waste treatment hierarchy and the principles of circularity with the following priorities: separate collection, sorting and processing of recyclable materials; generation of energy from waste. This represents a major step forward in building up an integrated waste management system in Russia.

“This is the first tranche of the syndicated loan. VEB.RF’s funding will be used to pay for equipment. Energy from Waste is the largest project under the Environmental Protection national project. VEB.RF carries out a comprehensive programme to build energy-from-waste plants in the regions. The plants in the Moscow Region are a pilot project that will be followed by a whole range of similar projects. The construction of energy-from-waste facilities is well under way, and they will handle a quarter of waste generated by Moscow and the Moscow Region every year,” VEB.RF’s First Deputy Chairman and Member of the Board Nikolay Tsekhomsky said.

According to RT-Invest’s CEO Andrei Shipelov, the goals of zero dumping cannot be achieved without an integrated approach. RT-Invest is Russia’s only group of companies whose business encompasses all stages of MSW management. Its particular focus is on the construction of sorting facilities and on recycling technology. For instance, RT-Invest will put into operation an additional three modern waste treatment plants in the Moscow Region and complete design work on bottom-ash handling technology by the end of this year.

“The projects in the Moscow Region and Tatarstan are currently a showcase for us building the necessary MSW management infrastructure. The energy-from-waste plants are the final link in the chain of residual waste treatment after the necessary sorting and processing of all recyclables,” Andrei Shipelov added.

It is intended that the four energy-from-waste plants will start to process up to 2.8 million tonnes of waste and generate up to 2.2 billion kWh of electricity per year in the Moscow Region in 2022. Their construction uses Hitachi Zosen Inova technology from a global leader in energy from waste.

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O3 Group, Part of VEB Ventures, Launches Mass Production of Sanitisers

1 april 2020 года
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O3 Company, part of VEB Ventures, is to launch a new product made on the O3-Coatings site in the Rostov Region, namely the TRIOCLEAN PRO™ 0090 professional sanitiser.

The product is intended for human safety and infection control. Its competencies in new-product development, as well as operating its own R&D centre in Skolkovo and a production site in Rostov-on-Don, allowed O3 Company to start the project in a record three weeks.

TRIOCLEAN PRO™ 0090 is consistent with recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for disinfectants designed to prevent diseases caused by influenza viruses, including A/H1N1, A/H5N1, HPIVs, RTI and SARS viruses, rotaviruses and coronaviruses. TRIOCLEAN PRO™ 0090 is safe for hand skin and suitable for professional disinfection of surfaces. More detailed information about the product can be found at o3.com.

“During such difficult times as we are facing, the ability of high-tech companies to quickly start the production of socially significant goods is to the fore. A large number of major players from a wide range of industries are now keen to contribute to curbing the spread of the pandemic, and we welcome O3 Company’s initiative. The company’s intended output looks impressive: О3 will be able to produce up to 100,000 five-litre containers of the disinfectant a month,” VEB Ventures CEO Oleg Teplov said.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the resulting shortage of sanitisers, the launch of TRIOCLEAN PRO™ 0090 will add at least 400 tonnes per month to disinfectant production. The new product will be ready for shipment as of 3 April. TRIOCLEAN PRO™ 0090 will be supplied to customers based in Rostov and other Russian regions.

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SME Bank to Provide Businesses with Interest-Free Loans for Salary Payments

1 april 2020 года
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SME Bank, a subsidiary of RSMB Corporation, will be giving interest-free loans to small and medium-sized enterprises as from 1 April to finance their salary payments as part of government support for businesses affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The new loan scheme is designed to help SMEs to meet the immediate needs related to supporting and retaining their employees, such as mo    nthly salary payments for six months after they take out loans. The loan amount is calculated on the basis of the region-specific minimum wage and the number of staff members. The loan has a maturity of six months, a balloon payment and an interest rate of 0% p.a.

SME Bank will simplify lending procedures as much as possible to provide interest-free loans to its existing customers.

Interest charges are subsidised by the Ministry of Economic Development, while the loans are refinanced by the Central Bank and backed by VEB.RF surety bonds.

VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov said: “The current situation makes it extremely important to support small businesses and their employees. Development institutions have all the necessary tools to react flexibly to the needs of the real economy and lend a helping hand to businesses that find themselves in a difficult position.”

SME Bank Board Chairman Dmitry Golovanov said: “One of Russia’s most vulnerable economic sectors during the coronavirus pandemic is small and medium-sized enterprises. SME Bank is a niche bank whose main mission is to provide them with support. And we’ll do our best to help small and medium-sized enterprises through their hard times. Every business approaching us will be offered a tailored effective solution.”

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Vladimir Putin Meets with VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov

31 march 2020 года
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The meeting focused on VEB.RF’s results 2019, current operations and ambitious plans to participate in building a modern urban economy.

Putin: Igor Ivanovich, VEB is more than an ordinary bank, it is primarily a development institution.   I know that VEB’s state of affairs was rather complicated when you took the chairmanship, and you channelled your efforts into improving its operational status, though we cannot underestimate VEB’s former achievements.

Therefore I have two questions. First: what is Vnesheconombank’s current state of affairs? And second: how are you carrying out the major mission of this institution and what is your involvement in national projects?

Shuvalov: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! We have carried out your order for ensuring VEB.RF’s financial stability. At year-end 2019, with the support of the Russian Government and in collaboration with the Federal Assembly, we made sure, through amendments to the budget legislation, that VEB.RF’s capital adequacy ratio according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is such that we are able not only to repay the external debt incurred earlier, but also to actively participate in the national development agenda defined by the Presidential Decrees in May 2018.

We have enough liquidity in our accounts, consequently, we keep the bank’s balance healthy. We are confident that we will be able not only to finance the projects selected in 2019, but also more actively support the Government’s efforts to achieve the national development goals.

Which projects were approved in 2019? First, I must tell you that we have fully reorganised our methods of work and we do not compete against the major credit institutions of the Russian Federation, not any more.

We have built and developed partnership relations with largest commercial banks - Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank - and co-participate in the so called project financing factory (PFF). This is a special form of syndication. Despite the fact that we use classic syndication model as well, in 2019 we approved ten major projects to be financed through the PFF.

VEB.RF’s total commitments exceed 300 billion roubles. The total value of projects to be financed through the PFF equals to 787 billion roubles, including not only VEB.RF’s commitments, but also funds allocated by investors and commercial banks.

According to our business model, we shall support commercial banks’ lending with no less than 300 billion roubles. In total, should we stick to the plan, we will invest about three trillion roubles for five years, with the total amount of lending provided in cooperation with commercial banks reaching about ten trillion roubles. These are substantial funds.

The projects include natural gas conversion, the leasing of LNG carriers that are already produced and will be produced at Zvezda shipyard. This is one of the major projects under your control. We also finance the delivery of jets to Aeroflot and the highway rehabilitation (a section of the Central Ring Road and other federal routes).

Notably, we should not be a sole lender. We will operate on a sole lender basis under a special resolution of the President and the Government on projects of nationwide significance. Admittedly, a project risk level is very high for commercial institutions, and they are unwilling to incur such risk at the first phase of project implementation.

We can observe that when the project is well under way, commercial lending becomes possible and commercial banks suggest that we should withdraw from the project and offer to buy the loan. We have made several such transactions, one of which is very successful. It’s the construction of a new terminal at Sheremetyevo Airport financed by VEB. When the terminal started operating, Sberbank expressed considerable interest to the project and we withdrew from it having charged a fee.

Now it’s time to focus on national development goals. VEB is not a single player. According to the new federal law on bank for development, VEB operates in close coordination with RSMB Corporation (small and medium business), Russian Export Center (export support) and DOM.RF (modern urban development). In this context, we are present in all project committees of the Government.

I hope that at this stage we can focus on urban development. We are entrusted by the Government to launch a training programme for manager teams from hundred towns excluding Moscow and St. Petersburg in order to delegate new challenging tasks to municipalities.

At the federal level, these are large and major projects worth more than ten trillion roubles. For our part we would like to focus, together with municipal and regional institutions, on ensuring that each specific household benefit from these national projects and people’s life changes for the better, becomes safer and more comfortable.

We offer the best consumption patterns. In this context, Moscow has set a certain trend in current urban development, and we believe that it can be followed by every town, even the smallest one.

Putin: Good.

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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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