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The Ist Quarter 2000showed the remaining trend to the growth in the investment activity. During the first three months 2000the volume of investment in capital assets at the expense of all the sources of financing grew by 5.9% vs. its respective period of the prior year and made up Rb. 150bln.

The rise in the investment activity is related to a significant improvement in the financial state of the real sector. The enterprises’ own funds are a main source of funding the investment activity. However, in the conditions of the remaining high level of the accumulated credit liability of the real sector’s enterprises, including by tax payments, and in light of the persistent necessity to tackle the problems of paying backwages, the potential of the growth in investment at the expense of the enterprises’ own capital is limited. The intensification of the investment activity is backed- upped by the diversification of investment capital flows: the structure of investment shows a growth in investment in the active part of capital assets and the growth in costs related to the introduction of spare capacities into production.

At the same time, it should be noted that according to the results of the survey conducted by the Center for Economic Analysis, in the structure of investment 45% falls on purchasing single production units, while only a. 15- on technological lines and less than 5%- on purchasing of complexes for manufacturing of new kinds of produce. Such a structure of investment, which is dictated by rigid financial constraints, leads to the preservation of obsolete technology and discourage the production of competitive highly- technological produce. between 1998through 1999, the growth in output was related chiefly to the introduction into production of spare capacities and the increase of the rate of their use. However, a high rate of physical and oral deterioration of capital assets, the unfavorable age structure of the machinery and equipment stock present rather a rigid constrain. In addition, the technological backwardness of the production is yet deteriorated by the expansion of the sphere of major overhaul, with the retirement norms of physically and morally obsolete equipment growing. Last year, with the introduction of spare capacities into operation, the costs for major overhaul reached Rb. 101.7bln., while the volume of investment in capital assets funded at the expense of the enterprises’ own fund made up Rb. 303.2bln.

Fig. 1

Modernization of the domestic industrial sector is a necessary condition for the transformation of the import- substituting post- devaluation production growth into a sustained economic growth. The modernization is aimed at the enhancement of the Russian goods’ competitiveness, both domestically and in the world markets. At the same time, the lack of investment in production, high price barriers to penetration of import goods in the Russian market leaves this problem unsettled. In addition, because of the depreciation of the national currency, the enterprises’ possibility to purchase a modern import equipment and technology to modernize their production has fallen substantially. Obviously, the quality of many kinds of Russian produce, the production of which had grown on the wave of import- substitution, is still very low. Such products finds the demand only thanks to their low price compared with import, and their producers can survive only in the favorable conditions of absence of competition, which have been created for them.

Russia lags behind all the developed countries in terms of the level of gross accumulation in capital assets. The low level of accumulation is one of the main factors that constrain the renewal of a steady dynamics of economic growth.

O.Izryadnova

Foreign investment in the Russian economy

As of January 1, 2000, the volume of foreign investment accumulated in the Russian economy ( including investments from the CIS countries) is accounted for USD 29.25 bln. In 1999, the overall volume of foreign investment made in the non- financial sector of the economy, monetary and credit regulation bodies, commercial and saving banks exclusive, including the Rb- denominated investment calculated in the USD terms, made up USD 9.56 bln., or at 18.8% down compared with the prior year.

Fig. 1

The change in the structure of the invested capital noted in 1999 took place, primarily, due to the growth in the amount of FDI, the volume of which grew by 26.7% in 1999 and made up USD 4.26 bln., and a 35.9% contraction in the amount of other investment5

accounted for USD 5.27 bln. in 1999.

The beginning of 2000 is characterized with the emergence of prerequisites for improvement of the investment climate in the country. After presidential elections in March, numerous delegations comprising representatives of foreign companies, investment funds and financial institutions arrived in Russia. Many foreign investors estimate their attitude towards Russia as moderate optimism and look forward to a new economic program of the Russian government.

In order to enhance the information openness of the national market for investors, in late- March 2000, in compliance with the RF Law On Chambers of Commerce in the Russian Federation, the RF Chamber of Commerce started to compile a non- government Register of Russian enterprises and entrepreneurs, which should witness their reliability as business partners. Foreign firms and private investors prefer to enter the market in a partnership with those who already operate there, whether their partner is a government structure, private businesses, or a Western bank accumulated a great deal of local experience.

Since March 2000, the government launched the work on establishing the Commission for foreign investment under the RF Government, which is intended to comprise Western entrepreneurs. It is envisaged that the Commission would deal with such issues, as improvement of tax legislation, restructuring of the banking sector and reform of the accounting system.

Moscow Registration Chamber has registered the Association for Protection of Investors’ Rights, which had operated previously as the Coordination Council for protection of rights and legal interests of investors. The Council was created on 15 October 1999 within the framework of NAUFOR. The first session of the new Association was convened on April 21, 2000.

The measures that Russia intends to undertake to improve the investment climate, in particular, comprise the adoption of a law on government guarantees to investors, protection of shareholders- investors’ rights, facilitation of transaction procedures with regard to real estate for direct investors and tax benefits for companies investing in Russia- the latter was put forward at the Consultation Council for foreign investment.

The latter body changed its structure, and since April 2000 has become a constantly operating body. After the last session held in March this year, the Council was joined by the US Chamber of Commerce, German business association, European Business Club, and Oil Advisory Council.

E. Ilyukhina

The governments participation in recapitalization
of the national banking system

The reform of the banking sector is increasingly mentioned among the priority directions of the currently developed future government strategy. The solution of the problem requires rather substantial government funding, primarily for the recapitalization of the banking sector. In this connection, an inevitable question arises as to both the efficiency of the use of the government resources and the destiny of the previously made investments.

The analysis of changes in the banks’ authorized capital which took place over the period after the 1998crisis through late- 1999shows that the government has contributed to the solving of the problem even without any formulated program. However, the government’s contribution was as non- systemic as the privatization of the banking system once would be.

Prior to the crisis, the government, in one form or another6, participated in the capital of over 820banks and used to go far beyond the historically emerged participation, which implied the authorities and state- owned enterprises’ playing a part of founders of the banks that had been emerging on the basis of the specialized banks of the Soviet ear. By mid- 1998, of 800such old banks 3357 survived, and the government participated in the capital of 80% of those. However, 2/3of the overall number of the state- owned packages fell on new8 banks. A part of them were established for the purpose of implementing certain government programs or solving extrabudgetary funds’ problems, while the government contributed to single banks with its real estate or with a right for its long- term rent as an office space. By the beginning of the crisis, there were relatively few banks with participation of AUTHORITIES: the federal institutions participated in the capital of 44banks, while subfederal- in 176banks. The overwhelming part of government packages in the banks (over 90%) fell upon enterprises with the governmental participation (see Table 1).

Table 1

Number of banks with the governmental participation, as of 1 July, 1998

Owner

With the value of the government stake of shares ( stock) as per the balance sheet

*

Over 10

10 1

1 mln. to

less than 50

Total

Rb.mln..

Rb.mln..

50 Thos. Rb.

Thos. Rb..

Federal

authorities

45

5

13

15

12

Subfederal authorities

and local authorities

176

10

53

76

37

State-owned enterpises

774

49

246

321

158

* The sum in the column exceeds the total number of banks with the governmental participation due to the fact that there can be AUTHORITIES of different levels and state- owned enterprises participating in the same bank ‘s capital.

Judging the data of the respective balance sheets, as of July 1, 1998, the aggregate authorized capital of the Russian banks could be accounted for Rb. 54.3 bln (This amount exceeds the official data and also includes a part of banks’ authorized capital non- registered by the Central Bank), including a12.0% ( Rb.6.5 bln.) share of the government’s funds. Clear leaders by the absolute value of the governmental funds in their authorized capital were regional banks- namely, AK bars and Bashcreditbank ( see Fig.1). The governmental stake in Vneshtorgbank was accounted for 9.5% of the total amount, the share in Sberbank was 6.8%. Hence, 50.1% of the governmental funds was concentrated in four banks. Apart from the four leaders, the government stake exceeded 1% of the overall amount of investment yet in 8 banks, and the share of the 1 leaders made up 66.6% of the overall amount, respectively (two of them later lost licenses afterwards). At the same time the aggregate share of the last 406 banks in the list of the banks with the government participation made up less than 1% of the governmental funds in the banks’ authorized capital.

Fig.1

Allocation of the government participation in banks authorized capitals, as of July 1, 1998.

1. AK Bars (Kazan)

2.Bashkreditbank ( Ufa)

3. Vneshtorgbank RF

4. Sberbank RF

5. The aggregate share of the consequent 417 banks

6. The aggregate share of the rest 406 banks, the aggregate share of the government participation in which makes up less than 1% of the amount of the government investment in banks’ authorized capitals

As the data presented in Table 1 shows, it was the investment in small- size banks ( with the government stake or the share of participation under Rb. 1 mln.) which prevailed in the governmental investment in banks. The dispersion of the government’s participation also manifested itself in the prevailing portfolio participation, i.e. the share of the governmental participation in the capital of many banks did not exceed 25% (See Table 2). The share of the federal AUTHORITIES exceeded 50% only in 4 of 45 banks, in which they were co- owners. The share of subfederal AUTHORITIES and local authorities exceeded 50% only in 9 of 176 banks in which they were co-owners. State- owned enterprises had packages over 50% of the authorized capital in 48 of 774 banks.

Table 2

Distribution of the government share in the authorized capital of banks with government participation, as of July 1, 1998

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