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Russia's sovereign funds hit $221.8b in January

Russia's two sovereign wealth funds rose to 7.9 trillion roubles ($221.8 billion, Dh801 billion) in January, boosting the government's finances as it prepares for the first budget deficit in a decade.

  • Bloomberg
  • Published: 23:03 February 3, 2009
  • Gulf News

Moscow: Russia's two sovereign wealth funds rose to 7.9 trillion roubles ($221.8 billion, Dh801 billion) in January, boosting the government's finances as it prepares for the first budget deficit in a decade.

The Reserve Fund rose to 4.9 trillion roubles and the National Wellbeing Fund increased to three trillion roubles in the month, Pyotr Kazakevich, deputy chief of the Finance Ministry's international finance department, told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday.

The combined dollar value of the funds fell 1.5 per cent in January, according to ministry figures.

As a recession looms, Russia will probably spend the bulk of its oil-fund reserves this year to help bridge the shortfall in its budget, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told lawmakers last week. The economic crisis is likely to "peak" this year as the government collects 4.4 trillion roubles less than planned, he said, and the slump in oil prices reduces tax revenue for the world's largest energy exporter.

Russia transfers some oil and gas revenue to its oil funds, which were created to act as a safeguard in case commodities prices plummet.

The price of Urals, the country's main export blend of crude oil, has dropped 70 per cent since reach a record $142.50 per barrel in July.

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