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BAKU, September 19 (Itar-Tass) — Azerbaijan will start buying Russian rubles before the end of 2012, Shakhmar Movsumov, the executive director of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (GNFAR), told journalists on Wednesday.
“At present, the fund is negotiating the possibility of purchasing rubles with several Russian banks,” Movsumov went on to say, adding negotiations with several banks were under way with an aim to avoid risks. Monsumov said, without specifying the volumes, that the fund had already started buying Australian dollars and Turkish liras.
The currency structure of the investment portfolio of the Oil Fund where revenues from oil and gas contracts are stored is as follows: 50% of assets can be placed in dollars; 40 percent – in euro and 5 % in British pounds. The remaining 5% from the aggregate cost of the Fund’s investment portfolio can be placed in the currencies of the G-7 states, countries whose long-term ratings are not below the “A” level (Standard and Poor’s, Fitch Ratings) and “A2” level (Moody’s) as well as the currencies of Russia and Turkey.
Movsumov said that the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan had recently bought ten tons of gold which would be delivered to Azerbaijan soon.
The assets of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, which is part of the country’s strategic currency reserves, were estimated at 32.6 billion dollars in the first half of 2012. They are predicted to reach 34 billion dollars before year’s end.