State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan intends to expand currency basket
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 23
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is considering the issue of including the Chinese yuan in SOFAZ's currency basket, SOFAZ head Shahmar Movsumov told Trend Feb. 23.
He said that SOFAZ's all assets, including the investment portfolio, are in foreign currency.
"SOFAZ's assets are in US dollars, euros, British pounds and other currency for diversification," he said. "Taking into account that the assets in foreign currency impact the balance sheet in manat, the fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates versus the manat lead to the exchange rate difference."
"This exchange rate difference is the accounting profit or loss as a result of those assets in manat and national currency fluctuations compared to other currencies, even if there is no change in the foreign currency assets," he said. "Thus, depending on the currency fluctuations, the mentioned exchange rate difference can be either SOFAZ's loss or profit. However, given the fact that it is of accounting nature, it has no effect on the real value of SOFAZ's all assets in foreign currency."
He said that as part of SOFAZ's investment policy, up to 50 percent of the assets are in US dollars, up to 35 percent in euros, up to five percent in British pounds, but the remaining 10 percent in other currency, including the Russian ruble, the Australian dollar, Korean Won, Turkish lira.
"We will consider the issue of including the Chinese yuan in SOFAZ's currency basket in 2015," he said. "SOFAZ's assets were quite diversified by asset allocation in different currencies to minimize the currency risks."
He also said that SOFAZ will continue diversifying the currency basket, given the opportunities on the financial market in the future.
The State Oil Fund was created in 1999 and its assets were $271 million that time.
The assets of SOFAZ increased by 3.42 percent and hit $37.104 billion as of Jan.1, 2015, compared to early 2014 (nearly $35.878 billion).
Under SOFAZ's regulations, its funds may be used for the construction and reconstruction of strategically important infrastructure facilities, as well as solving important national problems.
The main goals of the State Oil Fund include: accumulation of resources and the placement of the fund's assets abroad in order to minimize the negative affect on the economy, the prevention of "Dutch disease" to some extent, promotion of resource accumulation for future generations and support of current social and economic processes in Azerbaijan.
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edited by CN