SOFAZ to build gold reserves

Business Materials 8 January 2013 16:32
To date, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has purchased 14.934 tons of gold, SOFAZ informed Trend on Tuesday.

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 8 / Trend E.Ismayilov /

To date, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has purchased 14.934 tons of gold, SOFAZ informed Trend on Tuesday.

As stated in the Fund, although gold imports into country for SOFAZ were exempt from customs duty and VAT by a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Fund has not yet started gold imports.

"The import of gold bought by SOFAZ will begin in the near future. The process is to be implemented in phases," the State Oil Fund spokesperson reported.

Initially the gold imported by SOFAZ will be stored at the Central Bank of Azerbaijan. 'Gold will be transferred to the CBA repository until commissioning of a new building for the State Oil Fund', the Fund emphasised.

As reported by SOFAZ, the new building will have storage for the imported gold.

As previously stated by the head of SOFAZ Shahmar Movsumov, the total weight of the first batch of gold to be imported will be approximately one ton. Import of a batch of gold weighing more than a ton is quite a complicated process, as airlines don't transport large amounts of precious metals.

The Oil Fund acquires physical gold on the London market of precious metals and temporarily stores it at the JPMorgan Bank in London.

In total, over the period of two years, due to the risk of price changes, the Fund is planning to purchase 30 tons of gold stepwise.

According to SOFAZ's investment policy, approved by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Dec. 29, 2011, up to five per cent of the overall value of the investment portfolio can be invested into the gold.

SOFAZ was established in 1999 when its assets amounted to $271 million. As of December 1, 2012, assets of SOFAZ totalled $33 895 million.

The main purpose of the fund is the accumulation of funds and placement of its assets abroad to minimize the negative impact on the economy, preventing a 'Dutch syndrome' to ensure savings for future generations and maintain the current socio-economic standard in the country.

The official exchange rate for 8 January is 0, 7848 AZN / USD.