Co-owner of EC "Euroinvest" Andrei Berezin: "Previously, when the country was plump with money, you could afford excess"
Andrei Valerievich, how is your main production asset developing - the Svetlana plant?
Every year the volume of products is growing. We sum up the results of the last year, but, for example, by the results of 2016, revenues increased by almost 200 million, to 4 billion rubles. The enterprise has four "daughters". The first - "Svetlana-elektronpribor" - is the foremost in its field not only in Russia, but also in the world. Recently, the Center of Excellence was created there, where they master new technologies based on silicon carbide. This is very promising. The second "daughter" - "Svetlana-Roentgen" is actively working for export. A third of the world's airports are equipped with X-ray tubes produced by this plant. The company "Svetlana-SET" is engaged in vacuum microwave technologies, and "Svetlana Semiconductor" - respectively, semiconductors. So we are not going to close this plant. In general, all enterprises work and will work where they are located. Moving high-tech production is a complex process. Because of them you can lose the collective.
Under production, more than 50% of the territory of Svetlana is not used. What will happen to the rest of the land?
- On "Svetlana" since the Soviet times there are abandoned shops, unfinished and even some greenhouses. To adapt them for production is impossible, especially since microelectronics since the USSR became more compact. All these squares are empty and dilapidated. And we plan to build housing in a part of this land in the future.
- Now we are preparing a plan for the territory. There is no urgent need to do this quickly. With the current situation on the market, before the construction will come at best in a few years, first we need to develop a plan for the territory, and only then will the format and volumes of development become clear. We will build ourselves or attract someone - we have not decided yet. But with any development of events the development of this territory will allow Svetlana to improve its production from its own financial resources, without becoming dependent on bank loans.
Do you have plans to redeem other industrial assets?
- We are looking to buy a number of industrial assets in St. Petersburg and beyond. These are serious enterprises - with a turnover of tens of billions of rubles a year. But the negotiations have not been completed yet.
A few years ago, "Euroinvest" was one of the largest landowners in the region. Why did you decide to focus on production?
- The situation in the development is not very bright. You see what happens. The state is aimed at completing the shared construction. What do we get in return? People will buy housing at full cost, and builders will have to borrow in banks. In this topic, we, like many others, are equal to the West. But we forget that bank rates there are 2% per annum, and we have 10% at best.
But the refusal of the dolly is an attempt by the state to protect the co-investors from unscrupulous builders ...
- Developers are divided into three types. Most are conscientious and reasonable. They have a clear economy and development plans, there is a margin of safety. Commitments to people they carry out even in large projects. The second type - also kind of conscientious, but they either do not like, or do not know how to count. Therefore, in their projects, the economy often floats. Potentially, this is a risk group that can breed deceived co-investors. But if it does, it's not from evil. And there is a third type - it's scammers. They act on purpose. And now they are even more active: they will start advertising themselves and collect money from people. So the number of defrauded co-investors can increase. If the state could remove the scammers and tightly control the second type of builders (the 214th law allows it), it would not be necessary to refuse the dope. In principle, shared construction is a great achievement. Thanks to him, people in Russia have an opportunity to get affordable housing.
Earth under construction began to buy less?
"The silence on the land market lasts a year. The earth, of course, did not end. Individual plots are in demand. As a rule, those with infrastructure. But everyone became cautious. Became better to count.
How has your land bank changed?
- Over the past 5 years, it has declined. The remaining spots belong not only to us, but also to our partners. Territories for the acquisition, we also consider, but carefully. Buy some land now is easy. But then what to do with it?
You have created a management company "Murino", which coordinates the development of infrastructure in Murino - Devyatkino. How does this work move?
- CC is successfully engaged in water supply and sewerage - this is its main task. Although there are of course problems. Developers (even those who have ready houses) are paying for the infrastructure badly. But life shows that the work of one large operator is more effective than the set of small CCs. There are two problems here, the first is that if developers themselves pull the networks to their homes, they do not always think about their quality and future exploitation. Networks are quickly becoming unusable, becoming a problem for tenants and authorities. The second problem - some small UK sometimes collect money from people and disappear, and the authorities and Vodokanal have to deal with problems. Large CCs are responsible for their assets both for the network and for payments.
How is the construction of the road junction going, which also oversees the Murino CC?
- Coming. Although we do not earn anything from this and even received a loss. Some builders did not give money to the general fund for design, and we had to report from our pockets a total of 20% of its value, so that there would be no delays. In addition, we were loaded with the theme of a single storm sewage system for the district, although they should not have been. This is also a difficult story. Developers often fail. Therefore, I fully support the idea of checking companies before issuing permits for construction.
Where is it easier for builders to work in the city or in the region?
- Earlier it was easier in the Leningrad region. But after adjusting the law and launching the program "Traffic light" the situation began to level off. Now the builders are more interested in land for new projects in the city.
Is the "Traffic Light" program a boon for the region?
- This is a way to regulate the situation. Quite effective.
What do you think about the prospects for the unification of the city and the region?
- This is a difficult question from a legal point of view. To solve it, we need political will from both sides and people on the ground. I do not see either one. Although the idea is sound. And in the future, probably, we will come to this. The difference in the quality of the infrastructure of the two regions is striking. And I constantly come across conversations of officials like "I will not build further the road: this is not our district." It's jarring.
Do you support the idea of transferring the regional administration to the Leningrad Region?
- In my memory, discussed various options for moving - in Kudrovo, Gatchina, etc. In principle, there is a sound grain in this initiative, but here the main issue is the economy of moving. Probably, 10 years ago it could be done. And the budget on this would even work. But recently the value of real estate has fallen. And the money from the sale of buildings, which occupies the administration of the Leningrad region in St. Petersburg, may not be enough to move. In any case, this project is the competence of the administration of the region.
Did "Euroinvest" participate in the completion of the stadium on Krestovsky Island?
- Directly no. I believe that the main task of such kind of infrastructure projects is to contribute to the development of the region's economy. The stadium in this sense is a very specific object. As though it in 3 years did not preserve, as the previous one. It must also contain. This requires billions of rubles. Who will take on these expenses, which is incomprehensible when paid off? I would not count on Gazprom if it's not rubber. But, since I myself am not a fan and treat football exactly, I'm not likely to be a frequent visitor to the stadium.
But the stadium cost a lot of money.
- Most infrastructure facilities are expensive for the budget. And all because designers initially lay in them the most expensive solutions to make more money themselves. And there is no normal expertise, which immediately tells that the road, for example, can be built not for 10 billion rubles, but for 3 billion. Earlier, when the country was plunged from money, one could afford excesses. But now is not the time: every penny counts. If the question of the construction of the stadium was being decided today, I think it would not have existed.
What's with your project of the shopping center "Hollywood" at the metro station "Pionerskaya"?
- We got a building permit, identified contractors who are ready to enter the site. But a strange story happened. Here, in my office, came Maxim Levchenko, co-owner of FortGroup, which, opposite our future center, has its own TRC "City Mall" (the Hollywood project is its direct competitor). He proposed to distribute tenants between our complexes so that it would be beneficial for everyone. We gave him our project for reflection. And soon there was a lawsuit from a certain citizen Vakin, who lives in a neighboring house, an employee of FortGroup and a confidant of Levchenko at the elections to the Legislative Assembly. He allegedly found in our project a violation of standards for gardening and filed a lawsuit against the GASN (who granted us permission). And to make out these "fleas" it was possible, only having received the project on hands. As a result, while the court is on, the project is paused. When the courts are over, we will start the construction anyway. In business, of course, there are different situations. But this is one of the most cynical stories in my practice.
How do you feel about the initiative to clean stalls near the subway?
"It's been a long time." This is not only a question of beauty and safety, but also the collection of taxes. The trend is inevitable and civilized.
Six months ago, "Euroinvest" created a venture fund. What for? And how is this project developing?
- We bring a lot of different themes. Usually it's innovation. But not in real estate, but in the technical sphere. The fund is expert groups for their comprehension. Now there are about ten interesting ideas in the work, including five in the active stage. There is, for example, a unique development in the field of medicine. Specialists from "Svetlana" together with LETI create a prototype of a device for fighting cancer. We want within a year to bring it to the production stage and run it in series. There is no analogue to the device, so we will move it to the European market. With other topics the same. The fund will co-own new production facilities with a fixed share in profits.
How do you assess the state of Russian science and education?
- They are in a deep crisis. The level of cadres and general education in the country is falling. The state should solve this problem, and quickly, otherwise it will remain without hands and brains. And business should help - invest in bright heads, support them with scholarships and grants. We are already doing this: starting this year we are launching a personal scholarship named after cosmonaut Georgy Grechko in Voenmekh.
What do you think about the crypto currency?
- It is necessary to distinguish between the crypto currency and the technology of blocking. The technology itself is interesting. We follow its development and consider it promising. But I do not exactly buy bitcoins. I do not see the point.
The investment climate in the country suits you?
"He's not good, of course." But where are we still needed with our investments? Very few positive examples of investments of domestic business abroad. It's not for nothing that they say: where he was born, he was useful there. It would be nice, of course, for the state to support its investors. But, if it does not interfere, it will suit us.