Russian, Kazakh banks propose $1 bln investment fund

NOVOSIBIRSK, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - Vnesheconombank and the Development Bank of Kazakhstan have proposed establishing an interstate investment fund of around $1 billion, the Russian bank's president said Thursday.

"We propose setting up a fund worth no less than $1 billion for direct investment in projects, primarily those related to infrastructure," Vladimir Dmitriyev told a bilateral forum for cross-border regions in West Siberia.

Attending the forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the issue of transport infrastructure. "The cross-border regions have launched closer cooperation in the use of common transport infrastructure in recent years," Putin said.

Putin decreed May 17 that state-controlled foreign economic bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), servicing Russia's external debt and providing support for intergovernmental agreements, be enlarged into a state corporation by incorporating Roseximbank and the Russian Development Bank.

Designed to promote the competitiveness of the Russian economy, its diversification and investment incentives, the new bank could increase its capital of at least 70 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) if required on government instructions.

The consolidated VEB will provide medium- and long-term financing for investment projects in priority areas of Russia's economy, assist in attracting foreign investment, and offer financial support for export/import operations.

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