The XXV International Financial Congress has opened in St. Petersburg in the Presidential Library.
This year, the Congress has a different format: the discussions will cover not just banking but the entire financial sector.
WithinthescopeoftheCongress, St.PetersburgGovernorGeorgyPoltavchenkoandBankofRussiaGovernorElviraNabiullinasigned a Memorandum of Cooperation between the St. Petersburg Government and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation on creating and promoting a new payment instrument – the Unified St. Petersburg Resident Card, based on the Mir national payment system. According to Georgy Poltavchenko, the multifunctional, personalized smart card will help in providing personal social support and ensuring transparent expenditure of budget funds.
The main theme of the Jubilee Congressis ‘The Future of Financial Markets’. Giventhedifficulteconomicandgeopoliticalsituation, St. Petersburg will help fulfil this task by placing temporarily free budget funds in bank deposits. According to Georgy Poltavchenko, the deposits will promote effective management of budget liquidity, mitigate inflationary risks and provide a source of additional revenues for the city treasury. In 2015, RUB 356.7 billionin St. Petersburg budget funds wereplacedindepositsofcommercialbanks.
St. Petersburg was the first in Russia to implement, on the platform of the St. Petersburg currency exchange, a technology for exchange placement of budget funds in bank deposits. Thistechnology, distinguishedbymaximumtradingopenness, is now used by the Federal Treasury, the Residential and Utility Reform Fund, the Small and Medium-sized Business Credit Fund and other major state structures.
St. Petersburg is also the leader in developing the concept of internal borrowing. Over the two decades since registered bonds were issued in 1995 for financing the budget deficit, the city has advanced from placing the simplest discount paper for short terms to more complex debt instruments. The priorities of the city issue programme set by the Governor is to issue medium-term public securities with market placements and competitive pricing mechanism, with diverse maturities. “The St. Petersburg Government has been pursuing a responsible financial policy. The city has always fulfilled its obligations precisely on time and in full. This undoubtedly strengthens investor confidence. As before, we will do everything to ensure a balanced and sustainable city budget,” Georgy Poltavchenko said.
Therecent 20thSt. Petersburg International Economic Forum brought the city a record number of investment contracts and agreements worth a total of RUB 118 billion. Many of them were signed with representatives of the banking community.
Projects with participation by bank capital include reconstruction and modernisation of Pulkovo Airport on a PPP basis, construction of educational institutions and roads in the Pushkinsky District of St. Petersburg, construction of City Hospital No. 40 of the Kurortny District, and construction of two express tramlines in the Krasnogvardeisky District of St. Petersburg. ThestrategicSt.PetersburgprojectforbuildingtheWesternRapid Diameter is the world’s biggest toll highway project.
A Small and Medium-sized Business Crediting Fund has been set up in St. Petersburg to grant guarantees to small and medium-sized business that need bank loans but lack full collateral. A total of 62 banks are participating in the guarantee programme. In 2015, the Fund helped raise loans worth over RUB 33 billion.