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Post-electoral infrastructure of Russia

The overview was published specifically for the 22nd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Infrastructure development is one of the leitmotifs of new May presidential decrees. It is unlikely that the authorities will be able to find enough funds to cover the industry’s minimum requirement of RUB 2.3 trillion independently (according to the most optimistic estimate).

To solve Russia’s infrastructure problems, it will be necessary to attract investments from quasi-public, private and external sources that is to increase project financing. The share of new project financing transactions in 2017 was only 0.28% of GDP. But 41% of this volume was accrued to transactions in the oil and gas sector, and the infrastructure remained underfunded. The amount of private funds contributed to the industry through project financing, according to InfraONE estimates, is unlikely to exceed 0.09% of GDP or RUB 83 billion. This amount could be higher by n-fold, since there is enough liquidity for the infrastructure in the market — at least RUB 2 trillion.

The main problem is not the lack of money, but the inability to «take» them. There are still a few projects, and for those that are implemented classical schemes to attract money are often used, and eventually more expensive investments are received than they could be. In recent years, the difference between the conditions that financial institutions offer during the negotiations and during the financial closing process has decreased to 0.65%-1.5%, but there are still some larger market distortions. The most popular form of financing is debt, syndicated loans and various forms of project bonds are rare. For project financing, new markets are opening up — energy, landscaping, waste management, sea and river vessels, icebreakers, socio-cultural facilities and others. Many public infrastructure markets in Russia have so far been completely closed for investors: penitentiary system, space infrastructure, border crossing points, air infrastructure.

All these projects are successfully developed by private investors abroad through public-private partnership. In Russia, projects could also be implemented, but this will depend on lobbying by profile players and, in some areas, on mentality.

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