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RVC fund and Rusnano invest up to RUB 500 million in banking business in Yakutia

Source: RVC

The fund, established by RVC and Rusnano, plans to invest up to RUB 500 million for creating the digital platform based on the only regional Almazergienbank in Yakutia. The fund does not exclude the further equity investment.

The Far Eastern High Technology Fund (FEHTF) can invest up to RUB 500 million in a joint project with the Yakut Almazergienbank (AEB) to create a banking digital platform on its basis, told Ruslan Sarkisov, General Director of the FEHTF and Anatoly Myreev, First Deputy Chairman of the board of AEB, to RVC.

FEHTF was established in August 2018 on behalf of President Vladimir Putin. Its founders were the state corporation Rusnano, the Russian Venture Company (RVC) and the Far Eastern High Technology Fund (FEHTF) under the state corporation VEB.RF.

The framework agreement between the FEHTF and AEB will be signed on June 7 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, explained Sarkisov. He did not exclude that the fund could make the further bank equity investment.

As explained by Myreev, the transaction details are now being agreed, it should be completed in two or three months, by the end of the summer. According to its investment policy, FEHTF invests in companies through direct equity investments without buying back the shares from the owners. At the same time the fund share can not be a control.

According to the Bank of Russia, 86% of the AEB is owned directly by the government of Yakutia, another 6.6% through the controlled companies. AEB with RUB 30.7 billion ranks 126th among the Russian banks as of April 1, 2019. This is the only bank with head office and registration in Yakutia.

“We were faced with the creation task of our own modern and competitive banking platform in the Far East (it envisages the creation of mobile and Internet banking. - RBC), which would successfully compete for corporate and retail customers with federal players,” explained Myreev. Potentially, the platform is designed to cover the entire Far East (the bank has the operating offices in Vladivostok and Khabarovsk).

Sarkisov, General Director of FEHTF, 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 the local companies, which will stimulate the development of the fintech industry in the region,” added Sarkisov.

As explained by Myreev, the bank began to develop the project four months ago in cooperation with IBM iX, the consulting division of IBM concern.

“As we worked through the “road map”, it became clear that we need a partner who is ready to develop this story together. And in April the FEHTF joined the project, ”he added.

The fund investment format is not agreed yet. The framework agreement is signed without details, everything will be known by the end of the summer, specified Myreev. If a decision is made about the FEHTF equity investment, the bank will issue additional shares, he said. The authorized capital of AEB is RUB 3.2 billion.

Authors: Irina Parfentyeva, Georgy Makarenko

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