18 Apr 2022 09:57

Rusnano seeks capital injection from govt - paper

MOSCOW. April 18 (Interfax) - Rusnano has asked the Russian government for a capital injection in order to prevent losses for the budget, as well as preserve the state technology company's portfolio companies and competencies, business daily Vedomosti reported on Monday.

The request was made in a letter CEO Sergei Kulikov sent to Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, and a similar request was made to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the paper said, citing a source close to the company.

A lump-sum contribution from Rusnano's shareholder - the government through the Federal Property Agency - will help the company restructure its debt, saving it about 10 billion rubles by reducing servicing costs and discounting the debt, the letter cited by the paper said.

Rusnano had outstanding credit obligations of 76.3 billion rubles as of June 30, 2021, including 38 billion rubles to Sovcombank, 16.5 billion rubles to Bank Saint Petersburg and 16 billion rubles to Promsvyazbank (PSB) , according to the company's report for the second quarter of 2021. The company also had 70.4 billion rubles of debt on bonds.

Kulikov said in the letter that continuing the policy of repaying debt exclusively by selling portfolio companies creates several risks. First of all, a forced sell-off will lead to losses, as the discount is at least 30%. Secondly, it increases the risk of the company being deemed unable to independently service its debts, forcing it to unlock state guarantees that back the loans, Kulikov said. Direct losses from this could total 108 billion rubles and the securities market will be suffer, he said.

Amid increasing sanctions pressure and the priority of import substitution policy, any Rusnano portfolio company and competency is far more needed, Kulikov said. This refers foremost to sectors such as energy, industrial and public safety, medicine, pharmaceuticals, IT and software, he said.

"In such a situation, recapitalizing Rusnano appears to be an even more effective scenario than clearing the balance sheet and essentially selling off assets in order to cover debt obligations," Kulikov said.

However, it will be necessary to review the system of ownership and management in order to more fully utilize scientific and technological potential, as well as reduce vulnerability to sanctions, Kulikov said.

RBC reported earlier that in this letter Kulikov also asked the prosecutor general to look into the company's work in 2010-2020, when it was headed by Anatoly Chubais.