Russia may borrow $1 billion from BRICS development bank: minister

FILE PHOTO: Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is in talks with the New Development Bank, set up by the BRICS group of major emerging economies, about raising more than $1 billion, Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak told reporters on Monday.

If Russia borrows from the New Development Bank, it may trim its borrowing plan at home where it uses so-called OFZ treasury bonds to cover budget deficit.

Storchak said on Monday that Russia would lower state borrowing via OFZ bonds if it had an option to raise money for building roads and bridges from a development bank.

“With the new BRICS development bank alone we are now preparing four new loans,” Storchak said, adding that these loans altogether would comprise slightly more than $1 billion.

The Russian Finance Ministry has earlier planned to raise around 1 trillion rubles ($16.08 billion) a year by selling OFZ treasury bonds in 2018-2020.

Russia is part of the BRICS group, which also includes China, Brazil, India and South Africa.

Russia has planned to increase issuance of OFZ bonds to raise financing for a new set of decrees ordered by President Vladimir Putin. The new decrees envisage investments of 8 trillion rubles ($128.60 billion) into Russia’s infrastructure, healthcare and education.

In May, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Moscow was creating a special fund worth 3 trillion rubles to finance the infrastructure projects over the next six years, while continuing its regular borrowing via OFZ bonds for budget needs.

Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund and some of its partners, including sovereign wealth funds from Asia and the Middle East, said they were also interested in co-investing into Russian infrastructure projects.

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Maria Tsvetkova/Katya Golubkova; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Alison Williams