Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 22 / Trend E. Ismayilov /
According to the decision of the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers, gold imports into the country for the needs of the State Oil Fund of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOFAZ) are exempt from VAT and customs duties, SOFAZ told Trend today.
SOFAZ has begun a weekly purchase of 10,000 ounces of gold since Feb. 1, 2012. As of July 1, 2012, the investment portfolio included 6,847 kilograms (220,146 ounces) of gold.
"The decision was made to exempt gold imported into the country by SOFAZ from VAT and customs duties," SOFAZ said.
Earlier, SOFAZ head Shahmar Movsumov said that as of September 18, SOFAZ bought 10 tons of gold, stored in UK banks.
SOFAZ previously negotiated with the central bank to store gold in the country.
In total, SOFAZ plans to buy in stages about 30 tons of gold within two years in connection with a risk of price changes, SOFAZ head said.
According to SOFAZ investment strategy, approved by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as of December 29, 2011, up to 5 percent of SOFAZ total investment portfolio may be invested in gold in 2012.
SOFAZ was established in 1999. Its assets hit $ 271 million.
SOFAZ assets, as of January 1, 2012, increased by 30.9 percent up to $29.8 billion compared to early 2011 ($22.766.8 billion). During the first half of 2012 SOFAZ's assets increased by 9.6 percent to $ 32.666 million.
It is predicted that by late 2012, SOFAZ assets reach the level of $34 billion.