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Azeri State Fund to Invest Up to $200 Million in Infrastructure

Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund plans to invest as much as $200 million in infrastructure projects in emerging markets as it diversifies reserves.

Sofaz, as the fund is known, committed $150 million in the first closing of the newly created IFC Global Infrastructure Fund, almost a third of the $500 million contributed by other sovereign wealth funds and pension managers, the Baku-based fund said today in an e-mailed statement.

IFC Asset Management Company LLC, a unit of the International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private lending arm, will manage the infrastructure fund, which plans to channel capital into industries including power, transportation, utilities, telecommunications, urban infrastructure and infrastructure services, according to the statement.

Established in 1999 to manage Azerbaijan’s income from the sale of oil and natural gas, Sofaz had $34.1 billion in assets as of Jan. 1, equivalent to almost 50 percent of the Caspian Sea nation’s economy.

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