BAKU, Oct 24 (Reuters) - 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.