VEB.RF, Gazprombank, and EXIAR Consider Committing USD800mn to MTO Plant in Uzbekistan

4 june 2021 года
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VEB.RF, Gazprombank and EXIAR are considering committing USD800mn to build a MTO (Methanol to Olefins) plant in the town of Karakul, the Bukhara Region, Uzbekistan.

The memorandum of understanding in this area was signed by VEB.RF, Gazprombank, the Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR), and Jizzakh Petroleum at the SPIEF-2021.

Daniil Algulyan, Deputy Chairman and Member of the Management Board, VEB.RF:

“Mainly, our commitment is aimed to support the export of Russian products, including equipment and services. The preliminary amount set by the parties is USD800mn, including EXIAR’s insurance coverage. VEB.RF is now involved in discussing Uzbek oil and gas projects with Russian exports of high-tech products and services for a total of over 1.5 billion US dollars.”

Aleksey Belous, Deputy Chairman, Gazprombank:

“Recently, Russian businesses have been active in entering the economic space of Uzbekistan. Gazprombank is one the most active Russian banks with presence in Uzbekistan. For several years, Gazprombank has been involved in large-scale investment projects in cooperation with leading Uzbek oil and gas, petrochemical, industrial other key players of the Uzbek economy. Namely, we are actively financing the supply of high-technology Russian equipment to build a GTL plant in Uzbekistan. The plant will receive stripped methane from the Shurtansky Plant. Another potential key Uzbek project for VEB.RF and EXIAR is the MTO plant.”

Nikita Gusakov, Senior Vice-President, Russian Export Center:

“We consider such comprehensive investment projects as a tool to create sustainable demand for the export of Russian technologies. At the same time, the success of investment projects hinges on efficient financing mechanisms, as Russian contractors face global companies and their technical and financial capabilities when they enter international markets. Therefore, we see the greatest demand for affordable financing for a foreign borrower or the borrower’s bank.

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VEB.RF Supports Pulp-and-paper Mill Construction in Karelia

4 june 2021 года
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The VEB.RF Group and Segezha West (part of the Segezha Group, AFC Sistema) have agreed to work together to build a new pulp-and-paper mill in the Republic of Karelia. The agreement in this area was signed by VEB.RF Deputy Chairman and Member of the Management Board Artyom Dovlatov, VEB.RF Senior Vice-President Anton Perin, and Segezha West Chairman of the Board Mikhail Shamolin today at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The funds provided by the VEB.RF Group will be channelled into the construction of a pulp-and-paper mill.

The mill will ensure added-value Karelian pulp wood-processing and non-commodity exports’ growth.

In December 2020, Segazha West entered into a trilateral investment protection and promotion agreement with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and the Republic of Karelia and received the Russian Arctic Zone resident status.

“As a key financial development institution, VEB.RF offers active support to investment projects in the Arctic. Our goal is to promote the potential of this territory and to be a social and economic development driver in the Arctic,” Artyom Dovlatov said.

“Our goal in Karelia is to create a state-of-the-art biotechnology facility to maximise added-value wood-processing. The project will also dispel environmental concerns of Segezha’s citizens, and provide them with power and heat supply. It is an ambitious complex task which will require the consolidation of resources, including those of the banking sector,” Mikhail Shamolin noted.

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VEB.RF and Sirius Invite Architects from all Around Globe to Compete for Embankment Design in Sochi

4 june 2021 года
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VEB.RF and the Urban Planning Centre of Sirius Science and Technology University launched an international contest to design an embankment for the first Russian federal territory (Sirius). The contest was announced at the SPIEF-2021.

The contest will be open to applicants on 5 July 2021 at: sirius-veb-competition.com. Architects will be competing to share a total of 26 million roubles in prize money. The winner will be announced in December 2021. Russian and international architects and landscape designers can apply for participation. A number of applications will be reserved for emerging designers which will give an opportunity to young professionals to compete on equal terms with major architecture firms. Applicants shall present a master plan, general, space-planning, volumetric and spatial, architectural, landscaping, transport, engineering and other solutions to design a 7.5 km embankment connecting Mzymta and Psou rivers.

Applicants may join their efforts to bid as teams or joint ventures. The first Russian federal territory Sirius grows to develop science, education, culture, sports, and tourism. Sirius will offer a fundamentally new approach to schools and universities, vocational training, talent management, and new recreation formats for families with kids, and smart tourism opportunities at the Black Sea coast. Sirius makes good use of 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics legacy facilities, and soon will benefit from new projects: a university campus, a health centre, a music hall, a college, and a seaside sports park.

VEB.RF will be represented in this contest by ProGorod LLC, the VEB.RF Group’s special purpose company in the area of real estate projects and integrated spatial development. VEB.RF’s partner Strelka KB will assist in organising the contest.

“VEB.RF’s investments have made a significant contribution to the development of the Greater Sochi. Our partnership with Sirius will make possible to promote the potential of the federal territory and to find top notch, outside the box urban planning solutions. Seaside view of the embankment matters, we need to reinforce 2014 Olympics’ legacy by leveraging existing sport venues and urban environment,” Head of VEB.RF Real Property Projects and Asset Management and Member of the Board Alexander Tarabrin said.

“Improvement of the embankment is one of the crucial tasks for Sirius development. The coastal area will offer art classes, professional and amateur sports, walkways, open sky festivals, popular scientific lectures, and meetings with artists to urban dwellers. In the next ten years, Sirius will be home for 40 thousand people, including scientists and university students. The embankment needs to provide maximum convenience to visitors all year round,” Elena Shmeleva, Head of Talent and Success Foundation, said.

“Sirius embankment is the natural border of the federal territory, but actually it is the main centre of attraction. It’s the beating tourism heart of Sirius. It is very important to shape the concept for this iconic location today and to get feedback from professionals. They may offer futuristic and ambitious visions, yet it is the main purpose of the contest: to get fresh ideas, to get inspired, to learn global best practices. The projects of the winners will guide us in drafting the development plan for the territory. We count on participation of serious players from the professional community, but we also welcome grass roots initiatives, ideas, and proposals,” Andrey Stolyarov, Interim Head of the Federal Territory, said.

Russian and international urban planning and development experts will be invited to sit on the jury. The winning design will be recommended for construction under the supervision of the contest’s winner.

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VEB.RF, Sber, and Google Cooperate to Develop SMEs

4 june 2021 года
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At the SPIEF-2021, VEB.RF, Sber, and Google entered into a strategic cooperation agreement.

The document was signed on behalf of VEB.RF by its Chairman Igor Shuvalov, on behalf of Sberbank by its Chairman German Gref, and on behalf of Google by Managing Director of Google Russia Yulia Solovyova. The parties agreed to cooperate in the following areas of business:

  • joint projects with small and medium-sized enterprises (including self-employed persons);
  • joint seminars, lectures, and case studies;
  • sharing experience in the introduction of innovative information technologies in the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises (including self-employed persons).

“BusinessClass project proved to be successful and relevant for Russian entrepreneurs. Accession of the VEB.RF Group to the partnership between Sber and Google will make it possible for small and medium-sized enterprises to use BusinessClass programme and Razvivay.rf platform for new learning and development opportunities. Today, digitalisation is crucial for successful business as well as continuous learning and skills development.”

Igor Shuvalov, Chairman, VEB.RF:

“This year marks the fifth anniversary of our free joint on-line programme BusinessClass for SMEs. The programme counts around one million participants. Since the launch of the programme, they have created more than 14,000 new businesses in various Russian regions, 58,000 jobs, and generated 45 billion roubles in additional tax revenues for budgets at all levels.

We believe that it is a good practice and are ready to share our experience in interdisciplinary learning, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and new educational technologies with our partners.”

German Gref, CEO and Chairman of Sberbank

“Google highly values its long-term partnership relations with Sber, VEB.RF and Razvivay.rf. The memorandum is a milestone which strengthens the relations and significantly improves financial literacy and Russia’s business environment.”

Yulia Solovyova, Managing Director of Google Russia:

The memorandum already outlines plans to implement several projects. The first one is an on-line training course “Smart Finance. Hands-on Accounting, Taxes and Law for Entrepreneurs”. The course is available at Google and Sber’s educational website BusinessClass with the support of Razvivay.rf, a young and emerging aggregator of business products.

The course comprises 13 classes on specific topics. After each class, students get examples and advice from successful entrepreneurs, lawyers, and accountants. Namely, Efim Kolodkin, CEO of event venues rental service Bash Today, Guzel Gibadullina, Managing Partner and CFO of Gibadullin and Partners, consulting and audit firm.

Experts tell the students how to raise funds to launch their businesses, to choose an efficient pricing model, to optimise taxes, to break-even, and to achieve timely return on investment.

Every graduate will learn to build unique financial models to objectively assess the rate of return and financing required.

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VEB.RF, Tourism.RF, Interros and Vasta Discovery Agree to Cooperate in Creating New Mountain Resort in Sochi

4 june 2021 года
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During the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, VEB.RF, Tourism.RF Corporation, Interros and Vasta Discovery agreed to cooperate in carrying out the project to create Dolina Vasta, an all-season mountain resort in Sochi.

The agreement was signed by Head of VEB.RF Real Property Projects and Asset Management and Member of the Board Alexander Tarabrin, CEO of Tourism.RF Sergei Sukhanov, CEO of Interros Sergey Batekhin, and CEO of Vasta Discovery Sergey Bachin. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Chernyshenko and VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov.

The agreement has initiated a new important stage of the project implementation. Project investors will approve technical and economic feasibility to encourage investment in the utility and transport infrastructure. A special purpose entity will be created to design and build the resort.

The agreement is aimed at developing post-Olympic Sochi and regional tourism and building the necessary infrastructure to increase the domestic and inbound tourist flow. Ultimately, this work will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Krasnodar Territory and the city of Sochi as a mountain resort as part of the Tourism and Hospitality national project.

It is intended that the Dolina Vasta project in Sochi will build the necessary tourist infrastructure for health and ski recreation in the next four years (2021–2025). A comfortable environment will be created in Sochi National Park for year-round recreational activities, with balneotherapy and ski centres. The balneotherapy centre will include a sanatorium, guest houses and spa hotels, and a hydropathic facility with mineral water pump-rooms. The skiing facilities will consist of 80 kilometres of slopes and several ski lifts with a total length of 13 kilometres.

The total project value including the utility and transport infrastructure is estimated at approximately RUB80bn.

The new high-class resort, such as Dolina Vasta, in the mountain cluster of Sochi will create 2,500 jobs (or, including related services, as many as 5,000), stimulate small and medium-sized enterprises, and contribute to the socio-economic and cultural development of the region. The resort will pay billions of roubles in taxes at various levels in the future. The tourist flow is estimated at 1,500,000 guests per year.

Tourism.RF will act as a co-investor and will arrange government support for the Dolina Vasta project in creating the utility and transport infrastructure as part of the Tourism and Hospitality national project jointly with the Russian Ministry of Construction as the responsible supervisor.

Pursuant to the agreement, VEB.RF is considering its participation in organising and conducting due diligence for the Dolina Vasta project, providing investment and financial advice during its implementation, and arranging a syndicated loan for the project (under the Project Financing Factory programme).

Interros acts as an investor to arrange financing for the project. The master plan for the Dolina Vasta project is being developed by Dolina Vasta, which is responsible for preparing design and estimate documents, obtaining ownership, operating the project’s facilities, as well as acting as a co-investor and raising funds.

Alexander Tarabrin, Head of Real Property Projects and Asset Management and Member of the Board, VEB.RF:

“Domestic tourism is an industry that can make a significant contribution to post-pandemic economic recovery. Its development produces numerous urban effects: creating new infrastructure, a comfortable living environment, new centres of attraction and, of course, opportunities for starting new businesses. That is why VEB.RF views the tourism and hospitality industries as one of the most promising areas of investment.”

Sergei Sukhanov, CEO, Tourism.RF Corporation:

“Our task is to make investments in tourism attractive and beneficial for businesses. The Corporation has developed support measures to reduce debt loads for investors. We are currently discussing the details of the Dolina Vasta project and planning to make an authorised capital contribution. Our first step will be developing a master plan of the resort territory together with the investor. This will allow us to determine the exact finance required. The Corporation will also facilitate inter-agency coordination to create the utility and auxiliary infrastructure.

Sergey Batekhin, CEO, Interros:

“This agreement is an important step towards implementing the Dolina Vasta project. The new year-round resort will make recreation more accessible to Russians, meet the growing demand and have a positive impact on the region. As the project’s investor, Interros intends to use its experience of creating the Rosa Khutor resort and will ensure that Dolina Vasta construction will meet highest engineering and environmental standards.”

Sergey Bachin, CEO, Vasta Discovery:

“We are ambitious to create a world-class resort. The Dolina Vasta resort will become part of the post-Olympic development of Rosa Khutor and will perfectly complement the existing infrastructure of the Sochi mountain cluster. This will substantially expand the tourism opportunities of the Krasnodar Territory as one of the most attractive places for recreation in this country. I would like to note that respect for the region’s unique natural environment has always been high on our list of priorities.”

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