State Corporation Vnesheconombank, which financed megaprojects of the Kremlin and which, according to President Vladimir Putin, "a garbage of bad debts," is waiting for new injections from the federal budget.
VEB expects that before the end of the first half of the year, the Finance Ministry will allocate the first tranche of the planned 200 billion rubles of assistance to it. This was reported by TASS, the first deputy chairman of the state corporation Nikolai Tsekhomsky.
New support to VEB will be provided in the form of a deposit, which the government will place on its accounts from free funds of the federal budget.
The money can be sent either to refinance the debt, or to new projects, Tsekhomsky said. According to him, initially the deposit can be placed for a year, but VEB hopes that "the product will not be annual."
For 9 months of 2017 VEB received from the budget 107.6 billion rubles and recorded a loss of almost the same amount - 110.4 billion rubles.
As a result of the third quarter, the infusion into the bank amounted to 60 billion rubles, and its loss increased 18.5 times to 63.6 billion rubles.
Since 2016, VEB annually allocated 150 billion rubles, in fact, it is on the life support system, says the chief economist of PF-Capital, Yevgeny Nadorshin.
At the expense of taxpayers, the debts of the state corporation are extinguished: before the crisis of 2014, VEB, thanks to its quasi-public status, attracted cheap money in the West, which it spent generously on Kremlin megaprojects. But after imposing sanctions, the bank faced a shortage of liquidity and almost announced a default, from which in 2016 he was saved by emergency injections from the "presidential reserve" - the frozen pension savings of Russians.
The total hole in the cash flow of the bank for 2017-19 years, according to the Accounting Chamber, is 401.5 billion rubles. In 2018, the peak of repayment of external debt will come, when it will have to pay 2.8 billion dollars.
As of mid-2017, 43% of VEB's assets were in the "problem zone", and every tenth ruble loan was accounted for by an insolvent borrower.
At the beginning of last year, "bad" assets were planned to be handed over to the state fund - its size was estimated at 500-700 billion rubles. In November, it was decided to try to find this amount on the market, selling a portfolio of "black debts" and unprofitable projects to someone from buyers.
But the problem in the price of these assets, explains Vladimir Tsuprov of TKB Investment Partners: VEB wants to get as much as possible, but investors are unlikely to be interested in subsidizing the state corporation from their own pocket.
At the same time, the bank is going to engage in new risky projects, including next year a factory for project financing has to be launched (for it, state guarantees for 294 billion rubles have been allocated in the budget until 2020). It can load its balance with new problem assets, which again will have to create reserves, warns Nadorshin.
If the state wants to support the illusion that there is a development bank in Russia and does not remove it from the market, then it should provide it with resources, he argues: but for full development they are not enough, except for experiments.
"VEB has become a suitcase without a handle: it's hard to bear it, and it's a shame to quit," sums up former Central Bank deputy chairman Sergei Aleksashenko.