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Experts have questioned the Finance Ministry plan to bring 30 trillion rubles of investments monitoring of the banking press 13.02.2020 at 07:00

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Analysts of investment company InfraOne, which specializiruetsya on projects in the infrastructure, called "unrealistic," the Finance Ministry plans to attract up to 30 trillion rubles of investment by 2024 due to the implementation of the provisions of the development agreements on the protection and promotion of investment (NPC; the bill has already been approved by the state Duma in the first reading). The findings of the experts contained in the weekly report InfraOne.

According to analysts, the implementation of the objectives of the Ministry of Finance will prevent, in particular, the lack of the necessary investment of available funds from companies and governments, as well as the limitations of the banks in the large-scale investments. The representative of the Ministry of Finance, in turn, called the findings of the analysts of "subjective" and "based on outdated versions of the bill".

Why analysts have questioned the plans to attract investment and what it has explanations from the Ministry of Finance, were dealt with RBC.

What is InfraOne

InfraOne — investment company specializing in direct investment in infrastructure. In its portfolio, according to its own data, about 70 projects implemented on a public-private partnership (PPP), concessions and project financing in the railway, road, airport, port, energy and other fields. The company, in particular, involved in the structuring of the concession to create a sea port Lavna, the construction of the port Sukhodol and the railway line to the Elga coal Deposit, "Mechel". The head and owner of InfraOne is Chairman of the Board of law firm "Vegas-Lex", member of General Council of "Business Russia" albert Eganyan.

What are the objectives set by the Ministry of Finance

the Ministry of Finance for more than a year developing the format of the NPC, which should guarantee investors the immutability of the key parameters of legislation in exchange for promises of investment. According to the previously cited calculations of the Ministry, the NPC must ensure the flow of about 30 trillion rubles of investment in the economy to 2024: business and state-owned under this format will have to annually enter into agreements 100-150 7-10 trillion.

, Such investments would ensure the fulfillment of tasks set by President Vladimir Putin in the message to the Federal Assembly in March 2018 to increase the share of investment from 21 to 25% of GDP. "To ensure sustainable growth, we need to do it to do at whatever cost," he said then.

At the meeting with Putin last week, first Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said that 15 projects totaling almost 3 trillion rubles is planned to attract in the framework of the NPC, passed the examination of the Bank.Russian direct investment FUND. "If last year in fact we have over three quarters of 0.7 percent growth of investments in the current year this figure should reach 5% in 2021 — not less than 6% continue to be around this level of growth. Only with such a development trajectory, when the investment is approximately twice ahead of GDP growth, the volume in 2024 will reach the target set by the President values", — cited Beloussov, stressing that the NPC "will create a guaranteed, predictable rules for the implementation of major investment projects".

But developed by the Ministry of Finance document repeatedly criticized the officials, and business. In September 2019 Dmitry Kozak, who was at that time Vice-Prime Minister and oversaw the industry, warned about corruption risks due to selective approach in the provision of state support to private investors. The head of Sberbank German Gref noted that the document "undermines the credibility of the existing instruments of investment in infrastructure."

In the end in the beginning of February 2020 from the bill have excluded agreements that are concluded under public-private partnerships (PPPs) and concessions, widely used in the implementation of infrastructure projects.

the Representative of the Ministry of Finance told RBC that all changes of the bill were discussed by the government working group with the business community, business organizations, deputies and public organizations. "The government has agreed not to include in the draft law on the protection and promotion of investments which may require additional work time to provide its acceptance before April 30. Therefore, an evaluation model of the impact of the bill on the economy are going to do, based on new conditions", — he said. The representative of Department did not answer the question RBC how different the target threshold of attracting investment by 2024, taking into account the introduced changes.

What projects fall under the NPC

Agreement for a period of six, 15 or 20 years, provided investment in the amount of not less than:

RUB 250 million (for projects in the field of health, education, culture, physical culture and sport); RUB 500 million (for projects in the field of agriculture); RUB 1.5 billion (for projects in the field of industry and digital economy); 5 bn (for projects in the other sectors, except for gambling, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, liquid fuel, oil and gas).

Why analysts doubt the plans of the Ministry of Finance

At the end of 2019, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on the accumulated on the accounts and deposits of Russian companies 30 trillion that they are not in a hurry to invest, with the result that the economy is growing very slowly.

estimated InfraOne, in the next three years will be implemented projects in the format of PPP and concessions to 2-2. 5 trillion. But even with their exclusion from the scope of the NPC to attract 27-28 trillion by 2024 it will be difficult, analysts say InfraOne and put the following arguments.

the companies and the government now has no such funds, and banks are restricted in large-scale investments, they indicate. Despite the fact that, according to the Bank, on accounts and deposits of legal entities on December 1, 2019 was 28,2 trillion RUB, on the areas that fall under NPC (industry and infrastructure), accounts for 65-75% of the money on accounts and deposits, that is to 19-22 trillion Total debt on loans to legal entities was 33.2 trillion and overdue reached 2.4 trillion RUB To companies that fall under the criteria NPC belongs to 18-22 trillion and 1.6–1.7 trillion rubles. accordingly, experts say. Therefore, they doubt that the company will be able to increase many times the volume of their debt: to launch projects worth up to 30 trillion by 2024, or up to 10 trillion annually, companies will have to increase its debt burden almost doubled in three to four years. The rapid growth of obligations of companies (and almost all the largest industrial, transport and infrastructure groups and companies) will "overheat" the economy, including the banking sector, bond market borrowings, then it will affect the construction market of the country, experts warn InfraOne. Analysts also point to the limitations in the construction sector, where the scope of work on right now is about 7.5–8 trillion a year. Additionally, workers can add not more than 30% of these volumes, there is only 2.6 trillion annually, according to the authors of the report. At the same time to transfer a significant amount of works of foreign construction companies fail because they can not for two or three years to mobilize resources to enter the Russian market, and the circle of those who may agree to build according to Russian rules, is limited. According to the UN conference on trade and development (UNCTAD), in any country of the world annual investment in projects at the initial stage did not exceed 7 trillion (based on the weighted average rate in 2018 62,7 rubles per dollar). "The same amount invested only China in 2018, but he could not invest such sums for several years", — stated in the report InfraOne. Approval details, support measures and obligations under the major agreements in Russia is delayed for months or even years. "The probability that a new tool (SZPK. — RBC) will work directly without additional debugging and in full force is extremely low," — warn the analysts.

According to the expert rating Agency ACRES Alfiya Vasilieva, partially solve the problem with the implementation of major projects, which analysts warn InfraOne, could the development of the market of project financing through the issuance of bonds provided cash flow of projects which are already at an operational stage. Thus, the money received from the issuance of such bonds, could have been spent on new projects. It could also be interesting for banks with regulatory constraints, says Vasiliev.

But Vasilyev admits that one of the major problems of market infrastructure financing is the shortage of "ready to Finance projects." In practice, the process of transaction structuring at the investment stage can take a long time and cause additional problems as the issue arrangers and investors.