For the first half of this year, the foreign currency reserves of the National Bank of Azerbaijan increased by USD24.2 million to USD704.7 million. According to the press service of the National Bank, for the period under consideration USD41.4 million out of the foreign currency reserves was used to service and pay off some of the debts owed the International Monetary Fund and USD65.4 million and another USD65.4 million transferred to the accounts of the State Oil Fund to finance SOCAR’s share in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline construction project. For that period too, loans totaling USD52.6 million (USD18.2 from the IMF within the framework of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program and USD34.4 million from the World Bank for the Structural Adjustment Credit – II program). Earnings on the foreign currency reserves for that period were 1.6%.In accordance with the bank’s strategy for managing the foreign currency reserves in 2003, from 1 July a total of USD150 million of the foreign currency reserves was transferred to three highly reputable asset management companies for trust management, including ABN AMRO Asset Management, UBS Asset Management and JPMorgan Asset Management.
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