President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Arkady Vladimirovich, I have just signed a package of laws that were prepared quite rapidly on my instruction and on the Government’s initiative, and have been passed by the State Duma and approved by the Federation Council. They concern one issue, namely, stabilising the financial market in the context of the complicated processes at work on international financial markets at the moment, our dependence on these processes, and the need to avoid any more serious consequences for our country. The Government will now begin implementing these laws. I want this implementation to go ahead in coordination with the Presidential Executive Office, and I want you to report now on the points you think require our attention above all.
Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich: Yes, the laws were all drafted and adopted in a very short space of time. All of the draft regulations from the Government, Vnesheconombank and the decisions by the Supervisory Board [of Vnesheconombank] have been prepared now and they will be approved over the next two days.
Dmitry Medvedev: What you have just said is very important. I have signed the laws today and the regulations needed for these laws’ enforcement will come out tomorrow.
Arkady Dvorkovich: Yes, this is the case. The work was completed in three days and the regulations are ready for signing. After this, the banks in need of capital, the banks counting on being able to raise capital, will prepare their proposals for the sums, the proposed capital increases. This concerns Sberbank, VTB, Rosselkhozbank, and also private banks, where the private shareholders will have to put forward their co-financing proposals.
Dmitry Medvedev: As I understand it, they are already drafting these proposals because they knew about our plans. All the meetings were open.
Arkady Dvorkovich: This is indeed the case, but the concrete parameters will be set over the coming days and weeks for the banks that do not have such immediate needs right now.
The second aspect is requests for refinancing of foreign debts. These requests are already coming in. The situation remains difficult on the world markets and there are problems with debt refinancing. What we are doing therefore is replacing money that previously was raised on the world markets. These funds will be set aside in the volumes needed in accordance with the decisions made on requests. This work can begin as soon as the Government regulation is signed, that is to say, in two or three days.
The third aspect is an ongoing system of refinancing from the Central Bank. For the first time, the Central Bank will be able to accord collateral-free credits of up to six months to all banks that have a rating. This is not just an anti-crisis measure. Essentially, this replaces the system of refinancing abroad that existed up till now. This measure will continue to work on an ongoing basis even after the situation has returned to normal. This is an important measure so that everyone will be able to see that the financial markets will continue stable functioning in the future. The Central Bank is ready to begin this process in the coming days and will gradually replace the Finance Ministry’s mechanism for provision of funds.
Finally, another measure is the decision to invest funds from the National Prosperity Fund on the domestic financial market. A Government regulation is sufficient here and it has already been drafted. It is now going through the approval procedures and will be signed in two or three days’ time. This way, money from the Fund will enter the domestic market for the first time. We think that many of the assets on the domestic market are more reliable than assets on markets abroad. This will enable us to improve the quality of the National Prosperity Fund’s portfolio, protect pensioners’ money, including that of future pensioners, while at the same time maintaining liquidity on the Russian financial market.
Finally, and most important of all perhaps from the point of view of the system’s reliability, there will be 100-percent insurance for deposits of up to 700,000 roubles for all depositors in banks that are part of the deposit insurance system. This rule is in effect since October 1, 2008.
Dmitry Medvedev: So, it is retroactive?
Arkady Dvorkovich: Yes. That is to say, it has already entered into force in fact and will officially enter into force after the law is promulgated. Even if a bank has problems (this has happened in past years when some banks have left the market) depositors will receive compensation for their deposits within a few days, within literally two weeks.
Dmitry Medvedev: This is certainly a very important guarantee for our depositors, who need to be confident and have a sense of stability at this time of difficulties on the international financial markets.
Good. I want you to keep me regularly updated about the situation and work together with the Government, using the mechanisms that exist in the Presidential Executive Office. If there is a need for additional decisions they will be taken. The main thing now, as I said at the last meeting, is to take decisions rapidly. With the laws and regulations passed, we need to get the money into the banking system as quickly as possible.
Arkady Dvorkovich: Good.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.