Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) has affirmed VEB.RF’s long-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings of Baa3, with the outlook remaining stable.
Moody’s also affirmed VEB.RF’s short-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings of Prime-3. The outlook remains stable.
“Moody’s affirmation of VEB.RF’s long-term issuer ratings at Baa3, in line with the Russian government debt rating, reflects the rating agency’s assumption of full government backing for VEB.RF obligations. Moody’s view derives from a high degree of strategic importance of VEB.RF for Russia's economy,” Moody’s reported.
Moody’s analysts noted VEB.RF’s participation in a large number of big investment projects in Russia, as well as its role in re-channelling the government support to the economy during the pandemic.
The Moscow Region and VEB.RF have signed an IRIIS agreement
The Moscow Region Government, the National PPP Development Center and VEB.RF have agreed to introduce the IRIIS system into the Moscow Region. The agreement is primarily aimed at assessing electric utility, transport and social services projects. IRIIS is to improve project quality and attract new investors to the region.
The cooperation agreement was signed during the 5th Public-Private Partnership Forum of the Central Federal District. According to Vyacheslav Dukhin, Deputy Prime Minister of the Moscow Region, creating the region’s high-quality and resilient infrastructure is high on the regional government’s list of priorities.
He emphasised that the Moscow Region gave great attention to the impact of new facilities on human life and the environment, to the quality of their services, and to integrated spatial planning, which is why the initiative was met with support.
“Special thanks are due to VEB.RF for such a mechanism as IRIIS. It will allow all PPP-based investment projects to be structured in a way comprehensible to the investor, with generally recognised project characteristics, which will make it possible to quickly assess their investor appeal and efficiency at the initial stage and predict whether they will deliver good outcomes,” Vyacheslav Dukhin said.
The Moscow Region’s pilot projects are the Yegoryevskoye Shosse backup highway and the Moscow Ring Road–Dzerzhinsky–Lytkarino road.
“I hope we’ll also use this mechanism to assess other new projects. This will give investors more convenience and encourage more investment in our economy and public-private partnerships,” Dukhin added.
VEB.RF Deputy Chairperson Svetlana Yachevskaya drew attention to the fact that the Moscow Region became one of the first to put IRIIS to the test. According to her, the ability to independently evaluate project initiatives will make it possible to assess not only the project’s economics but also social aspects.
“Cooperation with the Moscow Region will enable us to test the IRIIS system in a region with high investment activity, which will help to introduce it across the country more effectively,” she added.
According to the National PPP Development Center’s General Director Pavel Seleznev, it is increasingly understood in the regions how important it is to have an independent assessment as early as the project’s initial stage in order to prevent potential risks and refine the project’s key characteristics.
“The Moscow Region has made successful use of advanced tools and approaches for public infrastructure over the years. For instance, the region is a leader in using the PPP mechanism,” Pavel Seleznev said.
When IRIIS comes into use in the Moscow Region, this will definitely improve the planning of new local projects and boost investment, he said.
What is IRIIS?
IRIIS is an infrastructure project assessment and certification system developed by VEB.RF in collaboration with the National PPP Development Center and AECOM with the support of the Russian Ministry of Finance. IRIIS is adhering to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment.
IRIIS was tested on real projects last year. The concession projects to build the Ufa East Exit and the railway to the Kaluga special economic zone received certification as compliant with the IRIIS requirements.
The Moscow Region will be the first this year to begin introducing IRIIS into its investment activity. Assessed projects have the option of using a special online module on the ROSINFRA platform.
VEB.RF and the National PPP Development Center will assist with the selection of the most attractive initiatives, provide advice and offer its expertise to assessing intended projects in-house and communicating with potential investors. They will also help to obtain funding and recruit staff to prepare and implement projects.