President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Patrushev, what is the bank’s current situation? How do you assess the support from the Government and the Central Bank? What is the situation with your current work?
Rosselkhozbank Board President Dmitry Patrushev: Mr President, thank you very much for this chance to meet personally. I want to inform you about the work we have been doing this year.
Although there has been a slowdown in the economy as a whole and in the banking system’s lending activities, our loan portfolio grew slightly – by 7.3 percent.
Our main indicators as at August 1, 2015, were as follows: total assets came to 2.4 trillion rubles, our loan portfolio came to 1.5 trillion rubles, and we now have more than 5 million clients in total.
The bank continues its key role as a lender to the agribusiness sector and to agriculture. Essentially, we make four out of every five loans in this sector.
We hold 40 percent of the market for lending to the agriculture sector and 65 percent of the market for financing seasonal work in the fields, which is the main source of funding for sowing the crops.
Lending to agribusiness and the agriculture sector continues to account for around 70 percent of our total loan portfolio. This is in line with the bank’s development strategy.
Our regional network covers around 80 percent of the country and we work mostly with small and medium-sized businesses.
Looking at the results for the first 7 months of 2015, I can say that we invested substantial funds in the agribusiness sector and our loan portfolio in this sector now comes to more than 1 trillion rubles.
Since January 1, 2015, we have extended loans for a total of 280 billion rubles under the state programme for agriculture development. This is a year-on-year increase of 11 percent.
(Mr Patrushev then set out in more detail the trends and volumes in lending to various segments of the agribusiness sector.)
Vladimir Putin: What is your current interest rate on loans?
Dmitry Patrushev: Our current interest rate for seasonal work in the fields is around 16.7 percent interest. If we take into account the regional and federal subsidies, our customers end up with an interest rate of around 6.7 percent.
Last year, the interest rate was around 4.8 percent. There has been a small increase of course, but normal successful farms are able to manage at the current rate.
Vladimir Putin: So, the real interest rate they pay on their
loans is around 6 percent?
Dmitry Patrushev: Yes, around 6.6 percent, taking into account all of the regional and federal subsidies.
We are also working very actively on the Government’s instruction on support for investment projects. A large number of projects have been submitted and seven have already been approved. We are
financing these projects. This is part of the import replacement programme and comes to a total of around 35 billion rubles.
Vladimir Putin: What about support from the Government?
Dmitry Patrushev: We received five billion at the end of last year, and ten billion in June this year. Under the tripartite agreement we signed with the Agriculture Ministry and the Agency for State Property Management (Rosimushchestvo), we took on the commitment to make at least 40 billion rubles in loans to the agriculture sector on top of what we planned to allocate through the state programme. This is what we planned to do with this 10 billion.
Vladimir Putin: This is part of the Government’s additional support measures for the agriculture sector?
Dmitry Patrushev: Mr President, I want to say a few words separately about what is being done with funds from the National Welfare Fund, if I have the opportunity. There are some proposals here. If you approve them, this would be a tremendous help to us in resolving the matter of second tier capital, so that we can replace the earlier funds we raised by borrowing from our investors on Western markets.
Vladimir Putin: Good.