Russia Wealth Fund May Aim at 2 to 1 Bonds/Shares Ratio -Deputy Fin Min
07/10/2012| 01:48pm US/Eastern
MOSCOW--Russia may aim at having a stocks to bonds ratio at 1 to 2 in its sovereign wealth funds, using Norway's pension fund's structure as an example, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said Tuesday.
"The agency (for managing the funds) will be able to invest in shares," he said, stressing that the question is still open whether it would only hold shares in foreign companies, or if the agency would be able to buy Russian companies' shares as well in the future, once it's formed.
"There will be a big discussion, a strategy will be worked out, and then a tactic based on the strategy" will be implemented, he said, adding that the priority for the agency will be the protection of the funds' capital.
Russia's sovereign wealth funds, valued at around $150 billion, currently hold mostly high-rated government bonds.
Storchak said that the government of Russia, the world's largest hydrocarbons producer, has followed the lead of Norway, also a large producer of oil and gas, in creating and managing its oil and later its pension fund.
Storchak noted that it took Norway about 10 years to change the structure of its funds so they are invested both in shares and bonds.
Funds will be transferred to the managing agency over the time in installments, rather than instantly, as has been done in Norway, Storchak said.
Separately, asked about the ruble weakening over the past three month, he said the move doesn't reflect domestic fundamentals but rather the global nervousness of the investors.
Write to Alexander Kolyandr at firstname.lastname@example.org