Russian sovereign fund may buy Japan shares-Nikkei
Russian sovereign fund may buy Japan shares-Nikkei Sun Feb 3, 2008 8:18pm EST
TOKYO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Russia's sovereign fund is examining investing in Japanese stocks but will not seek management influence of any firm, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was quoted as telling a Japanese newspaper.
In an interview published by the Nikkei business daily on Monday, Kudrin said Russia is examining adding yen-denominated assets to the portfolio of its sovereign wealth fund, which under current rules can only invest in assets denominated in the U.S. dollar, the euro and the British pound.
The fund, which began operations on Friday, is considering investing in Japanese stocks but will not buy more than 5 percent of any company's shares, he said.
Russia last week split its $157 billion oil stabilisation fund into a $125 billion Reserve Fund, which will cushion the budget from a fall in international oil prices, and a growth-oriented $32 billion National Wealth Fund or sovereign fund.
The sovereign fund will invest in riskier assets such as corporate bonds and shares.
Moscow has given Russia's Finance Ministry until Oct. 1 to design an infrastructure for the sovereign fund's investment. Until then money in the fund will be invested in sovereign or government agency bonds rated not lower than "AA-".
Kudrin, who will attend the Group of Seven finance leaders' meeting in Tokyo on Saturday, also told the newspaper that Russia hopes to play an active role in stabilising global market markets rocked by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.
Russia will join a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors for deliberations on world economic issues but is not the bloc's discussion on exchange rate movements.