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Russia's Reserve Fund worth $137 bln as of February 1 - ministry

MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Reserve Fund stood at 4.9 trillion rubles ($137 billion) and the National Wealth Fund at 2.9 trillion rubles ($84 billion) as of February 1, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Finance Ministry divided the former Stabilization Fund into the Reserve Fund, designed to cushion the federal budget against a plunge in oil prices, and the National Wealth Fund, designed to help Russia carry out pension reforms, on February 1, 2008.

As of January 15, the Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund had yielded 271 billion rubles ($8.5 billion) in revenues from the moment the Stabilization Fund was divided into two, said Pyotr Kazakevich, deputy director of the ministry's department for international financial relations.

The average-weighted yield from the Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund totaled 5.4% per annum, Kazakevich said.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said late in December that Russia would face a budget deficit in 2009 amid declining world oil prices. He also said that Russia would use the Reserve Fund to make up the shortfall.

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