Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev about the dividend policy of state-owned companies, pension reform, new proposals for privatization and the situation in the insurance market
Photo: RIA NOVOSTI/Vladimir Fedorenko
How will change in the near future the dividend policy of companies with state participation, what to do to make it more transparent why the Finance Ministry is willing to compromise with the social unit regarding pension reform. This, as well as on proposals for the privatization of state-owned companies, are discussing the government, in exclusive interview “news” said Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev.
— Alexey, what are the dividends will pay state-owned companies next year? Decree of the government on this occasion was not…
— While formal decisions of the government that state-owned companies will be paid 50% in dividends in the next three years, no. Now there is a situation when the validity of an act of the government on the dividends of half net profit had expired on 31 December last year. Because up to this point was not signed the new document, then from 1 January 2017, the company will have to pay at least 25%. We, of course, insist that the dividend should be 50%, but technically-legally relevant order was not.
— And are there any other changes in the dividend policy for state-owned companies?
— In mid-December, a meeting was held in the government, in which we agreed that state companies will pay dividends from the net profit under IFRS. From our point of view, this is a big step forward. Initially, we discussed three important points on the dividends of state companies.
The first is their size. The Ministry of Finance insisted on 50% and that this figure was recorded forever.
The second is the transition to payment of dividends under IFRS. On this question we have often been criticized. Our approach is that we are responsible not only for replenishment but also for the development of corporate governance in our companies. Corporate governance is clearly wrong if the company doesn’t know how next year she will expect dividends. In addition, it is not possible to form anything like a clear to outside shareholders dividend policy. On this basis, it decided that it would be IFRS.
The third — expansion of the list of strategic companies, which will together with the company to make statements according to IFRS. This element was also supported by the government.
— How will expand the list of strategists who will report under IFRS?
— We’ve added quite a lot of companies — about 30. Some of them we agreed that, despite the preparation of financial statements in accordance with IFRS, they still some time will calculate dividends on the company. At least for some transitional period. It is also necessary to ensure that we could see what is really happening in these companies. When two prepared statements, one of which reflects the assets, other financial flows, identifies problem areas. It is very important from the point of view of enhancing corporate transparency.
A new concept of privatization
— We moved the discussion about the list of companies that are to be privatized next year?
— No, not moved. We discussed this issue in the government. Agreed only on mass privatization. Support was expressed for the position that it is in any case no need to revise, but on the contrary, strongly to accelerate — it is important for structural purposes.
Assets in government has accumulated quite a lot of companies that need to sell. However, their real state and reflected on paper is very different. It is clear that you need to sell them as expensive as possible, but it is not an end in itself. The goal is to sell, because the delay in the sale is fraught with the deterioration of the companies.
— Is there any chance to sell big companies and banks? For example, it is difficult to find a foreign investor for the purchase of VTB, which is under sanctions.
— It is necessary to distinguish assets by type. When we talk about privatization, the program includes some piece of assets that is unique and, shall we say, obscure — garages, sheds, playgrounds and so on. The last is sold very successfully through Russian auction house or VEB Capital.
Ministry of economic development has submitted a new list of companies in which large packages was a lot. This new conceptual proposal based on the fact that the government will sell more than initially planned. For some companies it is planned that the state will leave a share of 50% plus one share and 25% plus one share. Where it was supposed to save 75% plus one share, will leave 50% plus one share. That is, the approach shifted down by a quarter.
I believe that is the right approach. In many companies it is not necessary to have 50% plus one share, as there are concerns that shareholders may take some unfriendly decisions. The fact is that when the share is 50% plus one share, this implies the need to manage the company, and 25% plus one share of such obligations does not mean, but gives the right to block some decisions.
The list of such companies I’m I can’t disclose, I think that it would be discussed in January, we need to prepare proposals. I think we will arrive at good decisions.
— How you consider, whether has sense, the privatization of VTB and Sberbank before the end of the sanctions?
— These banks are in different situations. The privatization of VTB, which is spelled out in the plan involves the preservation of the state’s stake to 50% plus one share. We support the position the Federal property management Agency, which stated that the decline in both banks is below 50% should occur in a coordinated manner. At this stage, the decrease in the state share in these banks below the control is not discussed.
— Is there any prospect that in the near future the issue will be resolved with the “daughter” ASV (Agency on insurance of contributions) — the Bank “Russian Capital”?
— In principle we have already decided, we are working out the details. ASV is transmitted to the Central Bank “the Russian Capital”. The bill on the consolidation of the banking sector, which is currently being discussed, involves a postponement of the entry into force after 180 days of the norms according to which “the Russian Capital” should be withdrawn from the control of the ASV.
Changes in pension reform
Recently the first Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov at a conference said that in the future in connection with the pension reform will be discussed sequestration of pension points. The sequester in this case, the definition of the conditional, but let me clarify — this is indeed possible?
— I can imagine that under certain conditions, the cost of points will not increase, i.e. the yield will be reduced. This is likely to occur. And this is one of the items of discussion with the social block of the government, because the yield points are tied to the income of the Pension Fund. At negative real wage growth and, consequently, contributions to replenish the insurance accounts may happen that the points will lose their real value. That is, in fact, speech can go about the devaluation of points.
The sequestration of the points I don’t see the point, because the cost score is defined flexibly. So even if we assume that most of the “undecideds” will go to the distribution system, rather, it will lead to a fall in the value of points than sekvestirovanii.
When we realized that such a risk, we have adjusted the system so that there is a significant reduction of cost points. To achieve this, we want that all “undecideds” fall under the automatic subscription to individual pension assets (PKI). And only the accumulation of those people who refuse to funded pension, get into the points. We believe that there will be little.
— That is, if the “undecideds” will automatically connect to the PKI system, they keep their savings?
— Of course. The money will accumulate and then, if people do not unsubscribe from PKI. But it will be a conscious choice that these funds were converted into scores.
Social unit your new approach may not like. They hoped that the accumulation of “undecideds” will go to the insurance part.
— The social block with the money never counted.
— The main claim of the social block to the concept of IPK — automatic subscription. Will you insist on this?
— Yes, the first and the main claim is that the system involves the default. The second claim is benefits. At the end of the discussion we agreed that there will be benefits for employers and for the citizens that the proceeds will be equivalent to the budget, but it will be another scheme of calculating benefits. We have already conceptually agreed upon, now the tax Department of the Ministry of Finance carries out the appropriate calculations, so don’t want them to sound. Let me just say that the benefit for employers is maintained. That is, we rejected the idea of benefits on contributions, but the mechanism of incentives for employers will remain.
— If the budget is still ready to go for expenses and to compensate for lost revenues extra-budgetary funds, then why not to consider the proposal ANPP (Association of private pension funds) and save it in the system OPS at least 1%? As recently said the head ANPP Sergey Belyakov, this will add only 18 billion rubles to the amount of compensation that you are willing to provide extra-budgetary funds. Why did the Finance Ministry not ready to support such an option?
We don’t have 18 billion, This 1% — a significant cost, but this option does not provide for any deduction of personal income tax, no system of incentives for the employer, which is embedded in the concept of IPK. We have to do something, and the second and the third. If we agree on the first and second personal income tax and the motivation for the employer’s additional costs which will not have a significant stimulating effect. Suffice it to say that the co-financing of savings in the amount of 12 thousand rubles has not had a significant stimulating effect on the population. So the answer is: ANPP good idea, but it offers not instead, and additionally.
More to say — our calculations to compensate for off-budget funds of revenues from the tax benefits may not be entirely accurate because we take the average salary. We have no way to write the bill differently, there is a risk of bias towards higher rates. So the average salary, which in the concept of a PKI is the basis, will be greater than the average salary in the country.
— Have you ever assessed the amount of compensation from the budget of the social Fund of 40 billion rubles. How can there be deviation from this amount?
— Possibly exceeding $ 20 billion.
— When you plan to fully legislate and adopt the concept of IPK?
— We have written the concept, but the bill is not entirely ready. Now the blueprints are in a rather advanced stage, and to legally formalize it in an official document. We expect that the government will introduce a bill ready by April. More likely the document will be adopted by the end of the year.
If the law is passed during the spring session, then enter it from 1 January 2018 can not be sure, because you still have to write regulations and to give employers time to prepare. But the date of entry into force can be only two: 1 January 2018 and 1 January 2019. Later time we do not consider.
I also want to note that should be spelled out and created the role of a Central administrator. It is the agent that transfers to market participants information about the facts. Because there is a commercial interest in the structure and the employer, and the Pension Fund, it needs to be commercial not interested the agent will be relevant information to confirm. The agent needs to be objective, in the event of a dispute, to confirm the necessary information. The administrator role in dispute resolution, as well as in the design of autopages. In addition, the administrator will record all transitions of the NPF, and so on.
It will cost some money, but from the point of view of the average load on the employer will still be effective if it is a specialized body that will be able to combine all of these functions.
— It will be a state structure?
— No. It will be a market story. The large depositories are willing to offer their services. If there is an organization with the participation of players, in which the owners of the state, please.
— Still because of the new concept has a legal conflict — if OPS would no longer exist, then the accumulation must cease to be a savings, and become reserves because it will have to go on voluntary pension insurance. Is that so?
— No, savings will still count as savings. IPK is an updated OPS with all the ensuing consequences — the right of inheritance money, the rights of succession. It is very important that these funds remained savings because they are regulated much better than reserves. At least because there is a guarantee system.
— Do you have an idea how to implement the scheme of rehabilitation of the NPF? Give money to the NPF?
— Discussed the idea to recoup guaranteed money based on profitability, but we are opposed to. It is much more expensive and leads to irresponsible behavior: people stop to think about what funds they invest, and they need to make an informed choice. Therefore maintain the guaranteed part in its current form.
— Discussion of securing the reserves calmed down?
— Ensure that reserves have never been seriously discussed. It makes no sense to talk about the guarantee reserves will not occur until at least two events. The first is the privatization of these assets. We have a deadline of 2019, but so far there is no preparation for this process is not conducted. The second is the legal impact on the market. This bill has a big impact.
Grounds to raise the insurance fees in the industry, no
Now the insurance market is not in a very good condition. As they say market participants, mainly because the tariffs on OSAGO “trapped.” The car price increases due to devaluation, and tariffs do not grow. Insurers claim that they are on the brink of survival. Do you agree with this?
— I do not think so. The authority responsible for tariffs, we have a Central Bank. So I can say only my personal point of view, the reason to raise rate in the whole industry now, no. This does not mean that everything is fine. There are some subjects where the unprofitability of insurance exceeds 200%, but there are a large number of regions where it is at levels slightly below 100%, as it should be. There are a number of insurance companies that work with even less loss, so to raise the rates for everyone, including neproblemny regions, where the loss ratio is very low, of course, wrong.
What should I do? You must resolve the issue with avtoyuristy, the activity of which leads to the fact that insurance companies lose money in the courts. Most claims on the results of the litigation proceeds to avtoyuristam, and often citizens get a minimum of means.
They are judged and alienated all means keep it, the money ends up in law firms. For example, people simulate the accident, europrotocol come to your company at four in the morning, take a picture of the lock on the door of the insurance company and say “We came, and there was no one there”. The court decides that the insurance company did not properly work. A lot of these cases.
We therefore believe that the bill for the transition to natural a refund on the CTP solves most of these problems. On the one hand, it will allow the citizen to obtain new parts, because the main task — to repair the car and not getting the money for it.
On the other hand, insurance companies will not be attacked by avtoyuristov, the situation stabiliziruemost, and I hope that the question of raising tariffs by itself will be resolved.
There is an alternative parliamentary bill, which the government wrote a review, stating that the document requires significant improvement, because it is not balanced. Now preparing amendments to this bill. In principle, there is the concept is the same. If the document with all comments, finalize, then it doesn’t matter what the project is accepted.
— You talked about the fact that the PKI system can allow life insurers. In what way there will be provided for the protection of the customers in this case?
— To allow life insurers to PKI seems to be necessary — they are better investors, because they have no mechanism to report yield. But allow insurers to IPK is not at the same time with the launch of the system, and in a few years.
— Recently it became known about the possibility of increasing the amount of compensation according to the europrotocol to 100 thousand rubles, which is the final amount that option agreed?
At this stage the bill is on the coordination in the government, and amendments related to the European Protocol, remained in a somewhat truncated form. The reform of the European accident report we carried on the second part.
In the first part we have introduced the concept of “hidden damage” and the amount of compensation is not increased. Now the main reason why people are afraid to use evroprotokol, is in the fact that they are afraid of hidden damage. But while in the amendments of the government on the priority of natural compensation for the CTP, prepared for the third reading, it is only natural compensation.
There are instructions to develop a third process — the draft law on the liberalization of the mechanical support of the European accident report and to prescribe the possibility of fixing damage not only through GLONASS and similar systems, but with the help of, for example, mobile phones, citizens to be able to fix the damage via cell phone.
The project on the financial defender will be heavily modified
— What are you planning to change the current wording of the bill on the financial Ombudsman?
— I think that the project will be heavily modified, taking into account received comments on it. First of all, everyone wonders why, under the regulatory act get only the insurance company? Many people believe that you need to include more banks and even MFIs.
It would seem that there is nothing extraordinary in the idea of having the Ombudsman there, but in our Civil code it is radical, because there will be someone who will solve disputes out of court.
Financial Ombudsman will be empowered arbitrator…
Yes. In the arbitration court can always refuse the execution of the decree, at least the concerned citizens. But the insurance company, according to our idea, to do so, this difficult moment is necessary to work with the court.
In the end, the Institute of financial Ombudsman is created not only in order to protect citizens from insurance companies, but also to protect the insurance company from fraud. This is another step to ensure that the citizen did not have to go to court.
We are ready to discuss contentious issues, and concerns that we are very much moving in this direction, not because of accidental, negligent restriction of the rights of a citizen can have extremely serious consequences.