Russian ministry offers to spend wealth fund’s returned money
MOSCOW, Sep 9 (PRIME) -- Russia’s Finance Ministry has suggested financing new projects from the National Wealth Fund following returns from the fund’s earlier investments into anti-crisis instruments, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters Monday.
In June, President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to consider investing the National Wealth Fund, originally designed to secure the country’s pension system, into the modernization of the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) and the Trans-Siberian Railway (Transsib), among other infrastructure projects.
“450 billion rubles, plus what has already been placed, accounts for 40% of the National Wealth Fund. We don’t want to place more. If you want to place more, you have to wait for the maturity date of funds previously placed as anti-crisis tools. We will get the first returns in late 2014. They amount to about U.S. $6 billion,” Siluanov said.
The government started placing the fund’s money in 2009 to support enterprises and banks via state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB). The money is subject to being returned.
“The National Wealth Fund is a stabilizer of the pension system…that is why distributing (the money) to such long-term projects means to place half the reserves into projects of an unspecified quality,” the minister said.
(33.4338 rubles – U.S. $1)