Vnesheconombank is a state-owned corporation for development, which, according to President Vladimir Putin, turned into a "cesspool" of bad debts, opens a new "megaproject factory."
The project financing plant under the auspices of VEB at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) has entered into agreements on participation in projects worth over 750 billion rubles, the head of the MAYOR Maxim Oreshkin said on Friday.
This amount is approximately equal to half of Vnesheconombank's default assets at the end of 2017.
The factory, created in February, will support only large projects worth more than 3 billion rubles. Its mechanism was developed jointly by the VEB team under the leadership of Sergei Gorkov and the staff of the Ministry of Economic Development.
The factory offers business to invest 20% of its own funds in the project. The remaining 80%, or 560 billion rubles, will be issued in the form of an investment loan for up to 20 years at a floating rate, which is tied to the rate of inflation and yield on OFZ.
Funding is expected to be attracted in three tranches, including 40% - from the placement of bonds of LLC "Specialized Society for Project Finance".
It is assumed that non-state pension funds will become investors, and the issue will be covered by the budget guarantee - for the next three years 294 billion rubles will be allocated for these purposes. VEB will have to redeem the debts of the factory, which it is not able to service.
The experience of such transactions already exists, says a former employee of one of its structures: in 2011-14, VEB invested about 150 billion rubles in budget funds and a funded part of the pension in commercial bank bonds secured by mortgage loans from the population.
Receiving the money of pensioners at 4% per annum, the bank placed them at 7-8%. The risks of a lack of flow from mortgage lenders in this scheme were closed at the expense of the bulk of the product, the size of the mortgage cover was monitored on a quarterly basis, defaulted loans were replaced with new ones.
In the case of project financing, there will be no additional security from anywhere, and a default on the investment loan will immediately "include" the mechanism of the budget guarantee, the source says.
On high risks of a default of the "factory" scheme and the VEB itself, the Ministry of Finance pointed out back in February 2018 when considering the project. The Ministry of Economic Development, however, insists on the ability of VEB and the syndicate of banks to correctly assess the risks of projects.
Another 40% is expected to be collected from commercial banks, said Oreshkin. The remaining 20% is VEB's own money. Deprived of external funding due to sanctions, Vnesheconombank receives an annual budget subsidy of 150 billion rubles. According to the deputy chairman of VEB Tsekhovsky, in 2018 Vnesheconombank has already spent a subsidy to pay off current obligations on the bonds.
At the end of 2017 VEB showed a loss of more than 287 billion rubles, and the total value of the bank's defaulted assets reached 1.4 trillion rubles, of which over 80% - outstanding loans for Olympic construction projects.