BAKU Oct 24 Azerbaijan's $33 billion oil fund
has bought 3 billion Russian roubles ($100 million) and
deposited it in Russia's Gazprombank to help diversify its
assets, the fund said.
"The fund plans to increase investment in financial
instruments in Russian roubles," it said in a press release.
The fund said earlier this year it would spend $400-$500
million to buy Russian roubles in 2012.
The state oil fund holds proceeds from oil contracts, oil
and gas sales, transit fees and other revenues. It has been used
to finance social spending and infrastructure projects.
The fund transferred 7.04 billion manats ($8.8 billion) to
the country's state budget in the first nine months of 2012.
Most of the fund is invested in sovereign debt, although it
has not said which countries' bonds it holds.
The oil fund's assets stood at $33.2 billion on Oct. 1, up
from $32.0 billion at the end of 2011. It expects its assets to
rise to $34-$35 billion by the end of this year.
It bought 800 million Turkish liras in July and deposited
the money in leading banks in Turkey, and also bought 200
million Australian dollars to buy Australian treasury bills.
It also started buying gold abroad in February and plans to
buy 15 tonnes a year in 2012 and 2013.
The oil fund's 2012 revenue as of Oct. 1 came to 10.1
billion manats, while its spending was 7.5 billion manats.