MOSCOW May 19 Russian state-owned development
bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) has opened a subsidiary in Hong Kong
to attract Asian investors into Russia and expand domestic
companies' access to Asian capital markets, the lender said on
The subsidiary will promote Russian exports to east and
southeast Asia, the bank said in a statement.
Russian companies shut out of western markets as a result of
the Ukraine crisis have been scouting the possibility of raising
cash via Chinese or Singaporean bonds instead.
Chinese investors are also stepping up to finance Russian
projects, including financing part of Novatek's $27
billion Russian gas project, which lost U.S. support because of
VEB's opening of the subsidiary comes ahead of a scheduled
visit by President Vladimir Putin to China this week.
VEB is a major source of long-term funding for investment
projects in strategic sectors and its supervisory board is
headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
It lends to industries of strategic importance to Russia,
supports infrastructure projects and provides export finance as
well as managing government assets and pensions. Projects it has
supported include the Sochi Winter Olympics.
VEB has had trouble refinancing a $2.45 billion syndicated
loan. It said earlier in April that not all banks were willing
to confirm they would participate in the loan due to market
conditions and political uncertainty. It said it hoped to
attract attract debt capital in Asia.
VEB holds a 100 percent share in the Russian Direct
Investment Fund, which has been trying to attract foreign
capital to Russia. The RDIF said on Monday it would sign
tourism, infrastructure and mining deals with Chinese partners
during Putin's visit to Shanghai, with its investment level
close to $1 billion in total.
(Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Megan Davies, editing by