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Inflated the investment muscle

Khabarovsk businessmen talked with the director general of the Far East Development Fund

Last week, the management of the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund JSC made a multi-day trip to the east of the country, holding investment sessions in Kamchatka, Khabarovsk and Yakutia. Most of the promising projects and interesting questions were raised in the capital of the Far Eastern Federal District - the region of the first two territories of advanced development.

Inflated the investment muscle
The general director of the fund, Alexei Chekunkov, tried to explain, using examples of specific projects, what exactly, in what volumes and why the company is ready to support him, as well as why it is important for businesses to try to get such funding: fighting for the funds of the fund, an entrepreneur "pumps up a very useful muscle."

Alexey Chekunkov, General Director of the Fund for the Development of the Far East and the Baikal Region, opening the fund's investment session in the Khabarovsk Territory, recalled that the mechanism for allocating funds for projects was determined by the Russian government quite recently - in July of this year, after which the fund was "quite brisk" took up the selection of projects for the portfolio. “In four months, the board of directors has selected seven projects for 11 billion rubles. Three projects have passed all the "locks", approved by the government, and their funding is already underway. Four more will be accepted and put on track for execution until the New Year, "he said.

Further, the fund intends to invest about 10 15 billion rubles a year, which means that it cannot be scattered over small projects. “The golden mean for ourselves, - explained Alexey Chekunkov, - we see projects with a range of costs 1 2 billion rubles (the government has set a criterion of at least 250 million rubles). That is, we are focused on a strong medium-sized business. " In addition, "the industry restrictions on investment have finally been lifted, although the fund was initially presented as an infrastructure fund," the general director of the fund said. According to him, starting in 2016, the fund "can, in principle, be engaged in any industry project, except, let's say," harmful "- related, for example, to alcohol or gambling." "But we would like to concentrate on projects in the field of industry, agriculture and tourism. I believe that the Far East can make a lot of money if we focus on feeding and, sorry for being frank, entertaining our southern neighbors," he outlined circle of interests of the fund Alexey Chekunkov.

Financing, he said, can be provided for up to 10 years and at 10,5% per annum - "this is a very attractive capital." At the same time, the fund is "a very conservative investor seeking to minimize risks through collateral and sureties", and due to the need for expert examinations and passing several instances to approve projects, the entire procedure from the investor's appeal to the receipt of funds on the account takes 4-6 months. The fund proceeds from the principle of maximizing private investment, that is, it seeks to enter projects where the fund's share will be no more than 50%, and the rest will be attracted by co-investors, Mr. Chekunkov admitted. “Our most optimal share is 20-30%,” he noted.

The Khabarovsk authorities gathered about 150 people for the investment session, including more than 70 representatives of companies initiating investment projects in various industries. Having looked around the hall, Alexey Chekunkov, addressing the entrepreneurs, said: “Judging by the number of those present, it will never work to work with absolutely everyone. This is a sport, and the Khabarovsk Territory is very strong in sports. We all understand that it is useful and necessary to go in for sports, and not only for those who eventually climb onto the pedestal. 90% of the investment process is generally the same for any investor, be it a fund or a commercial bank. Therefore, I urge you - let's work, initiate projects, enter into dialogue and go to victory. If someone in the competition turns out to be worthy, but not the first, you will, in any case, I am sure, pump up a very useful muscle. And your chances of raising capital elsewhere will increase. ”

After that, Alexey Chekunkov and his colleagues were presented with several specific projects selected by the regional authorities. The scale of funds required from the fund for Khabarovsk projects, as the discussion showed, varies by orders of magnitude - from millions to billions of dollars. The representatives of the foundation did not refuse to study them further on any of them, although they spoke out on all of them rather cautiously. But the most revealing was the comparison of two projects in the mining sector - we were talking about the prospects for the development of the Noni and Malmyzh deposits.

Alexander Golovanov, General Director of Noni LLC, spoke about plans to develop a deposit of the same name with about 10 tons of gold reserves. The company has been exploring the deposit since 2006 and wants to build a mining and processing plant there for 800 kg of gold and about 3 tons of silver per year. Tomas Bowens, General Director of Amur Minerals LLC, speaking next, spoke about the development prospects of the Malmyzh porphyry copper deposit, one of the largest in the world. Its already explored reserves are about 9 million tons of copper and 450 tons of gold. The first needs $ 35 million in investments, up to 20% of which shareholders are ready to invest, and the investments will pay off in two years, the second - $ 1,5 billion, and production will begin no earlier than 2024.

“I have been involved in gold mining projects for some time, and using these two examples I want to show the fund's investment philosophy. Maybe some things will seem harsh, but this is very important for contrast," Aleksey Chekunkov perked up. Be he a private investor himself, Mr. Chekunkov would choose Noni: "The payback is two years, the project is ready, you can start production in six months. Obviously, I like to invest in this - and in two years get two for a million." But the fund, he continued, analyzing the projects from the point of view of the state, evaluates them according to three components: “the effects that each ruble of budgetary funds gives for the economy of the Far East”, “risks and limitations” and “the aspect of implementation - to what extent the project is ready”.

“Proceeding from this, it happens that the best is the enemy of the good. We have one gold mining project among the ones being implemented. It is much more complicated than Noni. But that is why the state decided to support it. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested there, and the GRP has been seriously tightened on this project. And for a project where there is a strong private investor with sufficient resources, our cheap long-term money, roughly speaking, will only increase the private investor's profit. The government does not look at such projects, let's say, in the first place. There will always be such cases that are without administrative support and state funds are not being realized, "said Aleksey Chekunkov.

"Malmyzh - I believe, a project from a completely different pole, a huge project with low ore content. And it is at the beginning of its journey. It is a world-class facility, and the government supports foreign investors willing to work in Russia. In this sense, you need to work with us. it is imperative to interact, regardless of whether we can invest in the project. And secondly, of course, such a project should be funded by risk capital, "stressed Alexey Chekunkov.
In the open part of the discussion, Mr. Chekunkov was asked a lot more. About, for example, whether the fund has preferences in working with banks ("There is no discrimination against banks, we work with everyone," he assured) and why it is focused on projects worth closer to 1 billion rubles, but not less than 500 million rubles , although the government decree sets a threshold of 250 million rubles ("In exceptional cases, if the project is replicable and breakthrough, we are ready to work with a project of any size," Mr. Chekunkov answered).

"You are attracting money for investment projects, but are you supposed to have vacations?" Another businessman asked. “This is a very good question. For all projects related to capital construction, including through loans, it is usually envisaged that payments to the fund for the period of construction plus or minus two years are not made. True, if we see that the operating company can pay a coupon, we propose to do it ", - explained Alexey Chekunkov.

However, the general director of the fund was asked even more questions at bilateral meetings that took place immediately after the investment session. He himself admitted that he was satisfied with what he heard - some of the projects could be included in the fund's promising portfolio for 2016. The regional authorities also did not leave disappointed: receiving co-financing for at least one project for them in the face of tight budget constraints is already a victory. "The investment session, in my opinion, was quite meaningful: we not only heard the fund's capabilities, but also through examples of projects we were able to see its proven practice, even if it is still small. I think that business representatives who would like to work with the fund received enough information, and we are ready to continue to cooperate with everyone who applies for the funds of the fund ", - said the first deputy chairman of the Khabarovsk Krai government for economic issues Vasily Shikhalev.
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