The D20 Long-Term Investors Club (D20-LTIC) welcomed VEB.RF’s initiative seeking a leading mandate within the Club to deal with quality and sustainable infrastructure. The initiative was proposed at the D20-LTIC annual meeting by VEB.RF Deputy Chairman Cesare Ragaglini.
“We believe our experience and knowledge in this area will be to the benefit of all members of the Club. VEB.RF developed a national assessment and certification methodology for quality infrastructure projects. We are working closely with the United Nations, the OECD, the World Bank and others,” Cesare Ragaglini said.
Deputy Chairperson Svetlana Yachevskaya, who is in charge of VEB.RF’s quality infrastructure assessment programme, said: “The main thing for us in infrastructure is its quality, which refers to economic viability throughout the project life cycle, environmental and social impacts, and sustainability. We believe that we can now rethink the priorities and scope of infrastructure to achieve better results in sustainable development and focus on the long-term effects and benefits.”
VEB.RF released a methodology for Russia’s Impact and Responsible Investing for Infrastructure Sustainability (IRIIS) system in 2020, including the relevant guidelines for assessors and verifiers. Work is under way on finalising decisions on the projects and experts selected for the validation of the Guidelines in January–May 2021. Additionally, VEB.RF and the development banks of China, India, South Africa and Brazil signed a joint document in 2020 to promote responsible business conduct within BRICS.
The Long-Term Investors Club (LTIC) was created by European major institutional investors in April 2009 to cope with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The D20 was initiated by VEB.RF in 2013 under the Russian presidency of the Group of Twenty with the aim of bringing together the G20 development banks. The D20 is an informal group of the G20 financial institutions with a development, promotional or public mandate. The D20 and the Long-Term Investors Club merged in 2019. The D20-LTIC annually publish a D20 Statement submitted to the governments of the G20 member countries.
BVI Court charged shares owned by Ukraine in satisfaction of VEB.RF’s claims
On 10 April 2020 an arbitral tribunal constituted under the rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce issued two Separate Awards in favor of VEB.RF whereby it ordered Ukraine to reimburse VEB.RF its expenses incurred in the course of investment treaty arbitration concerning expropriation of VEB.RF's subsidiary bank Prominvestbank (PIB). Ukraine refused to voluntarily pay to VEB.RF the sums awarded by the arbitral tribunal.
‘Ukraine will face consequences as a result of such disrespect for the decisions of international tribunals, said Igor Krasnov, Chief Legal Officer. ‘VEB has repeatedly stated that it is firmly committed to recover the entire amount of the debt from Ukraine, pursuing its claims in all possible jurisdictions’.
On 15 October 2020 the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands recognized and enforced the awards of the Stockholm Arbitral Tribunal, and on 10 December 2020 at the request of VEB.RF issued a charging order over the shares of the shipping company owned by Ukraine - Fishing Company S.A. The State Agency of Fisheries of Ukraine is authorized to manage these shares on behalf of Ukraine. The Fishing Company itself owns several vessels that fish in the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
‘Now there is a real possibility that because of unwillingness of Ukrainian politicians to comply with decisions of international tribunals, Ukraine will lose its entire fishing fleet in Southeast Asia and West Africa, which will be sold to repay the debt of Ukraine owned to the Russian state corporation’, added Igor Krasnov.
VEB.RF intends to make further efforts to locate and attach property of Ukraine all over the world.
- Financing totalling 59 million US dollars
- First integration deal for the benefit of companies in three countries
VEB.RF is to provide Almalyk MMC with financing to pay for BelAZ haul trucks to be used for the modernisation of the company’s mining and smelting facilities in Uzbekistan.
Financing is estimated at 59 million US dollars for a term of five years. Russia’s content of the cost of supplied products should be over 30%. This is a prerequisite for VEB.RF’s involvement in project financing.
“This is the first transaction in a new format of cooperation between Russia and Belarus. The haul trucks will go to one of the largest producers of copper, gold and silver in Central Asia. VEB.RF provides the buyer with a long-term loan, and its interest rate will be subsidised by the Belarusian Government. The project was made possible by effective cooperation between the governments of the two countries and financial institutions. Our mutually beneficial partnership not only contributes to closer trade ties between the countries, but also provides support for our businesses by increasing their utilisation rates,” VEB.RF Deputy Chairman Daniil Algulyan said.
Bank BelVEB (part of the VEB.RF Group) acts as the agent for the Belarusian Government to subsidise VEB.RF’s interest rate. The Belarusian Government and VEB.RF operate under an agreement for financial support for products resulting from industrial cooperation between Belarusian and Russian manufacturers and exported to third countries.
VEB.RF and Bank BelVEB have provided financing for several years to pay for Russian high-technology equipment, feedstock and materials supplied to BelAZ for the manufacture of haul trucks.
“This project lets us show the successful start of cooperation to support the export of Russo-Belarusian products to third countries in a new format. The project is a logical continuation of long-lasting cooperation between the banks in financing and proves that the governments have a wide range of mechanisms to support the promotion of jointly made products,” Bank BelVEB’s Chairman of the Board Vasily Matyushevsky said. “We can see the growing demand for our export support services intend in the near time to carry out similar projects for other Belarusian companies.”
“We are glad our cooperation with VEB.RF and Bank BelVEB allowed us to complete such a large project, which will help to scale up mining and smelting operations in Uzbekistan and will promote cooperation among our countries,” said Anatoly Trambitsky, Acting Deputy General Director for Marketing and Export Policy and Marketing Centre Director, BelAZ. “The first shipments of 200-tonne haul trucks took place in October and November 2020.”
VEB.RF approved a five-year credit line for 1.8 billion roubles in November 2020, allowing Almalyk MMC to pay for Russian high-technology equipment to be used for the company’s modernisation.
Maxim Reshetnikov Presides at Inaugural Meeting of Investment Committee of VEB.RF’s Supervisory Board
The Investment Committee of VEB.RF’s Supervisory Board held the first meeting chaired by Maxim Reshetnikov, Russian Minister of Economic Development.
The Investment Committee approved VEB.RF bylaws speeding up decision-making related to VEB.RF property transactions, reviewed strategies to deal with VEB.RF assets and considered new limits on financing for existing investment projects.
The committee recommended that these issues should be further submitted to VEB.RF’s Supervisory Board.
Additionally, the Investment Committee took note of information concerning VEB.RF’s ongoing and potential gas-to-chemicals and chemical projects and information about the impact of these projects on attaining the national goals of Russia’s development until 2030. It was also reported on the current status of examining VEB.RF’s involvement in financing the investment project to build and operate a Kingisepp-based ammonia and carbamide production facility (EuroChem Northwest-2, a special purpose entity of the Project Financing Factory).
The Investment Committee of VEB.RF’s Supervisory Board was formed in 2020 following amendments to Federal Law No. 82-FZ on State Development Corporation VEB.RF. The enacted law was the first step towards the reform of the development institutions.
“The Investment Committee considers issues on VEB.RF’s broad agenda: investment, foreign trade, export support and projects of national importance. Each project under review has great significance to the country’s economy and higher standards of living,” VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov said.
“Due to the reform of the development institutions, the VEB.RF Investment Committee will take decisions on key investment projects. Our task is to align them with the national development goals outlined by the President. It’s necessary to focus on increasing the share of private capital in projects,” Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said.
As instructed by the Government, the Ministry of Economic Development is working with the Ministry of Finance, VEB.RF and other agencies and departments on road maps for reforming the development institutions.
Following the reform, the development institutions will use KPIs that will make it possible to monitor their performance in real time. The Ministry of Economic Development is forming a working group chaired by Deputy Minister Ilya Torosov to release the KPIs.
As a reminder, Mikhail Mishustin announced the reform of the development institutions on 23 November. The activities of the reorganised institutions are to be consistent with the national development goals set by the President and with national projects.
Igor Shuvalov, Chairman, VEB.RF; Nikolay Podguzov, Chairman of the Management Board, Eurasian Development Bank (EDB); Andrey Zhishkevich, Chairman of the Management Board, Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus (DBRB); and Abay Sarkulov, Chairman of the Management Board, Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK) signed a memorandum of cooperation among the development banks of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The document is intended to stimulate the development banks’ investment, thus strengthening integration processes within the EAEU.
Commenting on the signed document, Igor Shuvalov said: “The new alliance will let us take a fresh look at cooperation between development institutions and commercial banks. We intend to seek funding for major projects that will bring not only profits to project initiators and investors, but also a new quality of life to both businesses and people in our countries.”
“The signed memorandum is not only a continuation of successful cooperation with each party, but also a new stage of relationships between the key financial institutions of our countries, aiming to contribute to the development and integration of the EAEU countries,” said Nikolay Podguzov, Chairman of the Management Board, Eurasian Development Bank.
The document was signed during the session on achieving a new quality of life through the cross-cutting integration projects, which was the main discussion during the First Eurasian Congress. The session was moderated by Igor Shuvalov. It started with the opening remarks by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who stressed the importance of the digital transformation in the Eurasian space. “We need to quickly switch our economies to a new technological level, enabling all sectors to go digital,” he said. “The four freedoms of the Eurasian Economic Union (the flow of goods, services, capital and labour) should be supplemented with a fifth freedom, the flow of information.”
Igor Shuvalov thanked the prime minister for the remarks and told the participants that the Customs Union, which became the basis of the EAEU, had reached the age of ten years in 2020. “All surviving exemptions from the EAEU single market should be removed by 2025,” he said. “The markets will be fully open even in sensitive areas such as finance, oil, gas and energy.”
VEB.RF carries out integration projects in the EAEU member countries with a commitment in the amount of roubles equivalent to almost 70 billion. The projects include the export of Russian industrial products, such as rail transport supplied to Kazakhstan, underground carriages, cranes, railway equipment, metal products and chemical products supplied to Belarus, and financing for the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.