The Fund established by RVC and Rusnano plans to invest up to RUB 500 mln in the creation of a digital platform based on the only regional Almazergienbank in Yakutia. The Fund does not exclude further investments in its equity.
The Far East High Technology Fund (FEHTF) can invest up to RUB 500 mln in a joint project with the Yakut Almazergienbank (AEB) to create a banking digital platform at its premises, CEO of FEHTF Ruslan Sarkisov and First Deputy Chairman of the AEB Board of Directors Anatoly Myreev told RBC.
FEHTF was established in August 2018 at the instruction of the President Vladimir Putin. Its co-founders were the state corporation Rusnano, the Russian Venture Company (RVC) and the Far East Development Fund (FEDF) under the state corporation VEB.RF.
The framework agreement between the FEHTF and AEB will be signed on 7 June 2019 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, said Mr. Sarkisov. He did not rule out that in the future the Fund could acquire a share in the bank’s capital. According to Mr. Myreev, the parameters of the deal are now being agreed, and it should be closed in two or three months from now by the end of summer. Subject to its investment policy, the FEHTF makes direct investments in equity capital without buying out stock from the owners. The Fund cannot hold a majority interest.
“We were faced with the task of creating our own up-to-date and competitive banking platform in the Far East (anticipating the creation of mobile and Internet banking. — RBC), which would successfully compete for corporate and retail customers with national players,” says Myreev. Potentially, the platform is designed to cover the entire Far East (the bank has operating offices in Vladivostok and Khabarovsk).
CEO of the FEHTF Mr. Sarkisov explained that the future digital platform should become a convenient service center for promising business projects, first in Yakutia, then throughout the Far East and the Russian Arctic, taking into account the needs and specifics of the local market. “The platform solution will allow integrating the services of third-party developers, including local companies, which will give an impulse to the development of the FinTech industry in the region,” said Sarkisov.
According to Myreev, the bank started developing the project four months ago in cooperation with IBM iX, the advisory arm of IBM. “As we were working through the roadmap, it became clear that we need a partner who is ready to develop this vehicle with us. And in April, the FEHTF joined the project,” he added.
The mode of the Fund’s investments has not so far been agreed upon. The framework agreement is signed without much detail; everything will be known by the end of summer, Myreev said. If it is decided that the FEHTF invests in equity capital, the bank will issue additional shares, he said. The authorised capital of AEB is RUB 3.2 bln.
Irina Parfentieva, Georgiy Makarenko