President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Hello Vladimir Alexandrovich!
Naturally, I would first and foremost like to talk about how to implement the Russian law of 13 October 2008 on additional measures to support Russia's financial system. Your organisation plays a special role in its implementation. Report on what has been done and what remains to be done.
Chairman of Vnesheconombank Vladimir Dmitriev: Immediately after the publication of this law, in whose development we also took an active part, we began to implement the tasks entrusted to us, especially those concerning the collection of applications from Russian companies to refinance their external debt.
The supervisory board of Vnesheconombank has done what is necessary to achieve the targets set out in this document. Now a special commission is working to achieve these goals in light of the criteria that have been approved by our supervisory board.
All together those submitting applications ask for more than 100 billion USD; most of them are banks while approximately 40 billion USD are to be allocated to Russian corporations that borrowed abroad prior to 25 October 2008.
Dmitry Medvedev: In other words banks that want to pay back foreign debts with roubles…
Vladimir Dmitriev: Yes. In this context Vnesheconombank plays an important role in the implementation of other provisions of the law that you mentioned. In particular, with respect to the provision of subordinated loans. This is the second part of the implementation.
Dmitry Medvedev: Subordinated loans, that is loans that are distributed throughout the system …
Vladimir Dmitriev: Yes, they will create a second level of capital which will, first of all, provide economic actors with the opportunity to work with that money, and secondly, increase the capital base and therefore promote borrowing.
Accordingly, we have developed and signed all the documents with the first two banks, namely the Foreign Trade Bank (VTB) and the Russian Agricultural Bank. In the very near future – I hope this week – 100 billion roubles and 25 billion roubles will be allocated to VTB and the Russian Agricultural Bank respectively in the form of subordinated loans.
And in addition to these two banks we have received applications from other Russian banks amounting to some 30 billion roubles. We have approved within the bank relevant procedures for allocating subordinated loans and hopefully this week they will be approved by the supervisory board. So in this sense we are fully equipped to implement this task.
In addition, we have already received the decision by the Ministry of Finance and our supervisory board concerning 175 billion roubles from the National Prosperity Fund; this amount will be used to diversify the Fund and be used in the Russian stock market.
And our second task consists in maintaining the stability and sustainability of the Russian stock market, although thanks to its own funds Vnesheconombank is already very active in the market and has taken up the task of stabilising the situation.
As you know, there is another thing which is not numbered among the goals set out by the law: we are engaged in restructuring two major Russian banks that are among the 50 largest Russian banks – Sviaz-Bank and GLOBEXBANK.
With respect to Sviaz-Bank we are making full use of the resources – two and a half billion dollars which have been granted by the Central Bank. The funds were used to facilitate payments and we have fully complied with all of Sviaz-Bank's obligations to investors and legal persons, and this includes ensuring the smooth transfer of pensions: there are 15 million pensioners who receive their pensions from Sviaz-Bank. Thus, Vnesheconombank is fully and in accordance with the law and other regulations implementing its tasks designed to stabilise the financial system of the Russian Federation.
Dmitry Medvedev: I only have one wish because the decisions have been taken and the money is available, and it is decent money compared with the funds spent in other countries in response to the current global financial crisis. The main thing is speed; we should not have a situation in which decisions drag on longer than necessary. Of course this does not only depend on you but in light of the fact that at present you are the main disburser of these amounts you need to act as quickly as possible.
Vladimir Dmitriev: Yes, we build on this. Along with considering the law we are independently engaged in activities to ensure its practical implementation.
Dmitry Medvedev: In other words your own internal regulations, your own procedures are ready.
Vladimir Dmitriev: All of us working on this.
Dmitry Medvedev: Please keep working.