Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2
By Tamkin Jafarov- Trend:
Assets of the National Development Fund (NDF) of Iran amount to $60 billion, the deputy director general of the fund has announced.
"The NDF's reserves were around $54 billion when president Hassan Rouhani took the office last August, and since then the figure has reached $60 billion, deputy director general of the NDF," Qasem Hosseini told Trend on May 2.
Hosseini went on to say that the fund isn't facing any problems, and the situation is desirable.
The NDF is Iran's sovereign wealth fund. It was founded in 2011 to replace Oil Stabilization Fund.
Based on Article 84 of the Fifth Five-year Socio Economic Development Plan (2011-2015), the National Development Fund was established to transform oil and gas revenues to productive investment for future generation. Some 23 percent of the revenues from the mentioned sources went into the NDF in 2013. This share will reach 32 percent by the end of 2016.
Commenting on earlier reports quoting Rouhani as saying that the NDF was empty when he took office, Hosseini said it was a misunderstanding.
"President Rouhani meant that the government had no money, not that the NDF is empty. The NDF is a non-governmental institute, which has sources other than the government," he explained.
The deputy director general of NDF's also underlined that the current administration has not taken any money from the fund.
"Taking money out of the NDF needs the parliament's approval," he said, adding that so far the parliament has not approved anything like that.
While responding a question about the fund's possible cooperation with OPEC and the Islamic Development Bank, Hosseini explained that the NDF has started negotiations with the mentioned organizations to invest money there, however the sanctions imposed on the Iran's banking sector have prevented the country from transferring money.
"If the sanctions are lifted in future, we can invest considerable amounts of money in international bodies," he noted.
The Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral development financing institution with 56 shareholding member states. Iran holds some 9.32 percent of the Bank's share.
The purpose of the Bank is to foster the economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities individually as well as jointly in accordance with the principles of Shariah i.e., Islamic Law.
The IDB'S authorized capital stock accounts for 30 billion Islamic Dinars and its subscribed capital stoods at 15 billion Islamic Dinars (each Islamic dinar equaled to about 1.47 USD in the IDB's latest report published on March 28, 2013).
Commenting on aims of his visit to Azerbaijan Hosseini announced that the NDF is ready to invest in Azerbaijan's monetary and fiscal markets.
"Particularly, we are ready to finance the projects which are being implemented by Iranian companies in Azerbaijan," he noted.