Igor Shuvalov may head Vnesheconombank

The former first deputy prime minister will have to continue clearing old debts.
The former First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was invited to head the state corporation Vnesheconombank (VEB), which is now headed by a native of the Savings Bank, Sergei Gorkov. This was reported by the Reuters agency and confirmed to the "Vedomosti" by three federal officials.

Shuvalov and Gorkov, as well as their representatives refused to confirm or deny this information. President's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin never announces personnel appointments. One of Vedomosti sources suggested that an appropriate decree of the president could be signed in a few days.

The post of first deputy first Prime Minister Putin, and then Prime Minister Medvedev Shuvalov held since 2008. But he did not enter the new government. According to one of Vedomosti's interlocutors, Shuvalov himself had long wanted to leave the civil service. The interlocutors of the TV channel "Rain" called among the employment options of the official appointment as the head of the key project of the Moscow State University - the "Scientific and Technical Valley" (in the work on its creation, the project "Innopraktika" Katerina Tikhonova, which in 2015 Reuters called Vladimir Putin's daughter), and the post of the head of Rosnano.

Gorkov came to VEB in 2016 with a whole team of several dozen managers from Sberbank. There he was first the director of the personnel policy department, then joined the board and was appointed deputy chairman of the board. Then VEB was in a critical condition and almost collapsed. To save the bank, its former head Vladimir Dmitriev (he headed VEB almost 12 years) asked for 1 trillion rubles. VEB's problems were largely due to the fact that the state used it to save banks in the 2008 crisis (at that time Sviaz-Bank and Globex Bank were on VEB's balance sheet, which it still can not get rid of), funding for training to the Sochi Olympics, as well as banks with a large number of distressed assets. Management of Vnesheconombank in the summer of 2016 estimated VEB's troubled loans of 1.5 trillion rubles. "Of course, I understood that the bank is in a difficult condition, but some aspects at that time were greatly underestimated. I did not think that such a heavy portfolio as a whole. I thought it was easier, "confessed Gorkov in an interview with Vedomosti.

In February 2018, VEB launched a factory for project financing. This instrument of long-term investment was created by the decree of Premier Dmitry Medvedev. The factory is called upon to provide financing for a period of up to 20 years and for a sum of 3 billion rubles. The rate is calculated as inflation of 4% plus the yield of inflationary OFZ and premium (not more than 3.5%). Part of the rate, less than 1%, is subsidized from the federal budget. In 2018 in the budget for these purposes slightly more than 800 million rubles are provided. In 2019-2020 years. The factory should ensure investment growth by 0.1% of GDP (about 100 billion rubles).

"The new head of the bank should also implement VEB's project financing plant in the bank's strategy, as long as this mechanism is not very interesting for commercial banks and turn the unprofitable VEB into a real institution of economic development," says Fitch analyst Alexander Danilov. At the same time, the expert notes, VEB will have to continue to increase reserves for distressed assets. It is possible to do this, for example, with the help of the federal budget, which allocates an annual subsidy for state corporations to 100 billion rubles. in 2018-2020, because the main problem of the bank is access to cheap funding, says Danilov. Whether Shuvalov will cope with the new tasks is a big question, notes Danilov.

In 2017, the net loss of Vnesheconombank increased 2.6 times compared to 2016 - to a record 287.7 billion rubles. However, of these, 250 billion rubles. had to create additional reserves for the most problematic loans. Excluding additional reserves, VEB's operating profit for 2017 amounted to 25.5 billion rubles.

"In order for VEB to fully fulfill its function as a development institution, the new leadership must complete what the previous team did not have before - substantially clearing the state corporation's balance sheet from distressed and non-core assets that make up a significant share in the loan portfolio and still require pre-reservation . VEB has a development strategy until 2021. Perhaps it will be adjusted, but the implementation of any strategy will depend, inter alia, on the ability of the state to continue to provide the corporation with substantial support, sufficient not only to solve current problems, but also for VEB's more active participation in large infrastructure projects, "says Moody's analyst Lev Dorf.