Sunday, October 26, 2014
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Azerbaijan State Oil Fund Grows To $14.8 Bln In 2009

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The assets of energy-rich Azerbaijan 's state oil fund rose by nearly a third in 2009 to $14.8 billion, the fund said in a statement Tuesday.

But after nearly quadrupling its assets in 2008, the sovereign wealth fund's growth slowed considerably to 32.8% amid the global economic downturn last year.

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, a key part of the country's economy, is aimed at making investments and setting money aside for any future drop in oil revenues.

State investment vehicles typically controlled by rich countries, sovereign wealth funds have in recent years played an increasingly important role in the global economy.

SOFAZ took in $10.2 billion in revenues, mostly from
Azerbaijan 's sales of oil and gas, and spent $6.6 billion, the statement said.

Of the expenditures, the largest portion was transferred to the state budget, part was spent on social programs and most of the rest was used for various infrastructure projects.

A mainly Muslim country wedged between
Russia and Iran , ex-Soviet Azerbaijan is a key partner in projects to deliver Caspian Sea energy reserves to the West through oil and gas pipelines to Turkey , bypassing Russia .

Azerbaijan 's economic growth was nearly steady at 9.3% last year, compared with 10.8% in 2008, its state statistics committee said last week.
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