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Investment Targets Identified

February 26, 2008 | www.kommersant.com

Fifteen percent of the reserve fund and the national prosperity fund, that is, more than $20 billion, may be invested this year in securities issued by the 15 American and European institutions of development found on a list approved by the Finance Ministry. The reserve fund now contains $125.4 billion, and the national prosperity fund $32 billion.

Among the objects of investment are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, private American mortgage agencies with the status of “government sponsored enterprises.” Since 1968, the U.S. government has guaranteed that it would not allow the agencies to go bankrupt. Most of the rest of the companies were European.

Government resolutions of December 29, 2007, and January 19, 2008, establish the procedure for investing the money of the two funds that succeeded the stabilization fund. The resolutions set nearly identical restrictions on both of them. The Finance Ministry was made responsible for drawing up a list of appropriate foreign state agencies for investment, subject to approval by the Central Bank.

On January 31, the Finance Ministry announced that it had established an even more conservative procedure than the government had. The structure of investments established by it is 80 percent foreign government securities, 15 percent foreign government agency and central bank securities and 5 percent international financial organization securities.

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