In Sochi, within the framework of the Russian Investment Forum, the ROSSETI Territory hosted a panel discussion on financing and attracting investments in digital network transformation projects.
The first part of the session was devoted to project financing instruments, including government support measures aimed at increasing the investment attractiveness of the industry. In addition, the forms of cooperation of the public sector, banks and business that are most effective for achieving the best results were discussed.
Valery Seleznev, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Energy, supported the company's legislative initiatives, which are aimed at guaranteeing the immutability of the basic business conditions during the implementation and pay-back period of investment projects. In particular, those of them that involve the establishment of long-term tariffs for a period of 5 to 10 years, as well as the preservation of savings obtained from the optimization of operating and investment costs in the tariff.
Egor Prokhorov, Deputy Director General of ROSSETI, noted that today the company has defined a development trajectory within the framework of the digital transformation concept implementation until 2030. This concept involves the use of own funds and the attraction of external financing sources.
Last year, the RIF Forum also discussed issues of attracting investment in digital projects. Over the past year, the company has done a lot of important work together with federal authorities, regions, regulatory authorities. The concept of Digital Transformation 2030 was approved, legislative initiatives of the group were supported by the Government of the Russian Federation. Together with the Ministry of Finance, the conditions for encouraging and protecting contributions in new investment projects of the company are developed and specified. The formation of pilot projects on digital network transformation has been launched, and now the company needs to build communications with representatives of the banking and investment community properly,” said Egor Prokhorov.
During the discussions, various proposals were spoken out on the forms of involvement of the direct investment fund, the VEB.RF Development Institute in financing projects, the financing tools that are available to the company and the options for public-private partnership.
Denis Shulakov, First Vice-President of Gazprombank, noted that the Russian capital market is an “open platform with significant potential.” “Domestic and foreign investors have a positive view on infrastructure companies, ROSSETI in particular. Over the past seven years, on average, about 50-70% of the issues allocated by Russian corporate entities have been bought out by foreign investors,” said Denis Shulakov.
In turn, Daniil Algulyan, Deputy Chairman of VEB.RF, said that the bank is already ready to provide a ready-made platform solution for company's projects financing. To this end, the bank is ready to provide preferential loans for the purchase of civilian products / equipment produced by enterprises of the military-industrial complex.
Experts noted that in the conditions of rapid transformation of both individual industries and the entire economy, new approaches and models of interaction between all participants of the digital network transformation project are needed, which would provide for the maximum multiplicative effect. Business, banks, development institutions and the regulator should unite efforts, and this will ensure the greatest nationwide effect.
In the second part of the discussion, participants were invited to reconfigure the focus from the project to the company itself.
Egor Prokhorov spoke in the sense that ROSSETI is a natural monopoly, which, on the one hand, implements the state policy to ensure reliable electricity supply, and, on the other hand, is a public joint-stock company and as such should ensure the profitability of its shareholders. Can a balance of interests be maintained?
The top manager asked the participants to answer a rather provocative question, namely: taking into account global trends and the specifics of the company, should a natural monopoly in principle seek to increase capitalization and increase its investment attractiveness? Or is it better to close and focus on solving internal problems?
As a result, all participants in the panel discussion agreed that the company shall engage in investment attractiveness and strive to increase capitalization, however, all relevant activities have to be closely coordinated with the major shareholder.
“For the banking and investment community, the ROSSETI Group is only a business and nothing more,” said Ilya Sedov, Senior Vice President of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
The participants agreed to continue cooperation within the framework of the discussion of the forms of financing for digital network transformation projects that would be the most optimal for the company.