SOFAZ assets saved by tight monetary policy
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 30
By Anvar Mammadov – Trend:
The assets of SOFAZ (State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan) should have decreased by $3.9 billion until the end of the year, but tight monetary policy made it possible to prevent the reduction of assets, the country’s finance minister, Samir Sharifov said.
He made the remarks Nov. 30 during a discussion on the draft state budget and the concept of social and economic development for 2017 and the next three years.
The discussions on the draft state budget began Nov. 30 at a joint session of Azerbaijan’s parliamentary committees on defense, security and fight against corruption, economic policy, industry and entrepreneurship, agricultural policy, public unions and religious structures, as well as natural resources, energy and ecology.
The minister also noted that revenues of SOFAZ are forecast at 8.37 billion manats in 2017, which is 4.89 billion manats (2.4 times) more compared to the forecast for 2016.
Expenditures of SOFAZ are forecast at 6.95 billion manats, which is 34.6 percent (3.685 billion manats) less than the volume expected in 2016, he said.
“As much as 87.8 percent of expenditures of SOFAZ (6.1 billion manats) account for transfers to Azerbaijan’s state budget, 11.8 percent (822 million manats) will be used to finance a number of infrastructure projects, and 29.3 million manats (0.4 percent) are provided for the education of Azerbaijani students abroad,” Sharifov added.
As of Oct. 1, 2016, SOFAZ’s assets increased by 6.7 percent and amounted to $35.82 billion as compared to $33.57 billion in early 2016. During the nine months of 2016, revenues from implementation of oil and gas contracts amounted to 5.88 billion manats, including revenues from the sale of profit oil and gas amounted to 5.87 billion manats.
SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million.
Based on SOFAZ’s regulations, its funds may be used for construction and reconstruction of strategically important infrastructure facilities, as well as solving important national problems.
The main goals of the State Oil Fund are accumulation of resources and placement of the Fund’s assets abroad in order to minimize the negative effect on the economy, prevention of "Dutch disease" to some extent, promotion of resource accumulation for future generations, and supporting current social and economic processes in Azerbaijan.