MOSCOW, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday that the ailing state development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) should first sell some of its assets before the ministry gives it financial aid.
Siluanov previously said that the bank will need around $20 billion over the next few years. The government has been debating how to save the bank, with one of the proposals calling for its recapitalisation through domestic treasury bonds.
“You must first use VEB’s resources ... its accumulated assets,” Interfax news agency cited Siluanov as saying.
“If VEB cannot repay its obligations through a disposal of its assets, then the federal budget will back it up and come to its aid. But by no means there should be a placement (of the bonds) first in such a volume,” Siluanov was quoted as saying.
He added that the bank’s needs amount to around 1.7 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product, which if issued through domestic bonds, the so-called OFZs, would increase the budget deficit. (Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Christian Lowe)