BAKU, July 23 Azerbaijan's $33 billion oil fund
plans to spend at least $600 million on investing abroad in
shares of big companies traded under the MSCI World Index
from September 2012 and to keep buying gold and
currencies, its executive director said.
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.
Its transfer to the country's state budget in the first half
of 2012 was 4.6 billion manats ($5.8 billion).
Most of the fund is now invested in sovereign debt, although
it has not said which countries' bonds it holds.
"The State Oil Fund, with the help of UBS Global Asset
Management and State Street Global, plans from September to
purchase shares of well-known world companies, which are under
the MSCI Index," Shakhmar Movsumov told reporters on Monday.
"We have disbursed $600 million at this stage for these
Assets of the fund were $32.7 billion at July 1, 2012,
having risen from $32.0 billion at the end of 2011. The fund
expects its assets to rise to $34-$35 billion by the end of this
Movsumov said the fund had started buying gold abroad from
February 2012 and planned to buy 15 tonnes a year in 2012 and
"Our gold investment fund has already reached 6.85 tonnes by
the beginning of July," Movsumov said.
He added the fund's gold was stored in JP Morgan storage in
Movsumov said the fund had also started buying Australian
dollars and Turkish lira and planned to buy Russian roubles in
the "coming weeks."
"We have purchased 200 million Australian dollars and 800
million Turkish liras and ready to spend another $400-$500
million on buying Russian roubles," he said.
The oil fund's revenues in the first half of 2012 were 7.39
billion manats, while spending was 4.88 billion manats.
(Reporting by Afet Mehdiyeva; Writing by Margarita Antidze in
Tbilisi; Editing by Anthony Barker)