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Vnesheconombank, China Merchants Capital to create joint fund

Russian state-run development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Chinese fund manager China Merchants Capital have signed an MoU to jointly finance projects and set up high-tech and innovation funds, VEB said on Wednesday.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed on the sidelines of the BRICS leaders summit that ended here on Tuesday, “the parties are considering joint participation in a fund investing in Russian companies, including those focused on export,” a Vnesheconombank statement said.

“I am sure that China Merchants Group will provide serious support to Russian innovation products in the Chinese market,” VEB Chairman Sergey Gorkov said in a statement.

“The partnership also offers new opportunities for VEB’s investment projects to enter the Chinese stock exchange market, which is to facilitate the increase in capitalization of the Russian high-tech companies,” he added.

In the run up to the just-concluded BRICS summit, five banks of the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism (ICM) agreed to establish local currency credit lines and develop cooperation on credit ratings.

The agreement was signed by the CEOs of Exim Bank of India, Brazil’s Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social, China Development Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa and Vnesheconombank.

The banks will establish a framework mechanism to extend credit lines in local currencies to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) ICM members and the BRICS companies against guarantees of the signatory banks.

The agreement on credit ratings allows the ICM members to share information about internal credit ratings assigned to clients, as well as rating assessment and assignment methodologies.

Earlier this year, Kolkata-based Srei Infrastructure Finance signed an MoU with VEB to create a $200 million IT and Innovation Fund. This fund will enable Srei and VEB to jointly explore investment opportunities in technology companies in Russia, India and other selected regions.

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