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Aug. 02, 2007
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Stabilization Fund to Be Converted into National Prosperity
// Finance Ministry thinks the national well-being lies in portfolio investments
Russias Finance Ministry disclosed on Wednesday the plans for the investment strategy for the National Prosperity Fund, where a part of the Stabilization Fund is to be transferred on February 1, 2008. The ministry plans not to follow the way of Arab countries, which spend state funds on buying large packages of shares of foreign companies. Instead, it wants the new fund to specialize on portfolio investments.
Russias Finance Ministry held a closed briefing for news agencies on Wednesday, where it disclosed its plan for future management strategy for the Stabilization Fund and the National Prosperity Fund (NPF) in particular. The ministry insists that the NPF should be a purely portfolio investor, and should not buy strategic packages of shares.

The Stabilization Fund (SF) will be divided into two parts on February 1, 2008. The first part will become a reserve fund equal to 10 percent of GDP (which is about $100 billion now), and will be invested in a similar way as the SF. The second part will be turned into the NPF. Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak estimates it at 600-700 billion rubles by February 1, 2008. The NPF is to be invested into more risky instruments, including the shares of foreign companies.

Thus, Russia chose Norways experience, rather than that of Arab countries, as the strategy for dealing with shares of foreign enterprises. Arab countries often use state funds as a source of direct investments, and buy controlling or blocking stock of foreign companies. On the contrary, Russias new fund will specialize purely on portfolio investments.

www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of Aug. 02, 2007

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