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Azerbaijan Raids Wealth Fund as Central Bank Gets $4 Billion

  • President decrees shift of assets to bolster currency defense
  • Manat has continued to depreciate even as oil prices rebounded
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Azerbaijan will transfer as much as 7.5 billion manat ($4 billion) of assets from its sovereign wealth fund to the central bank this year, giving it ammunition to defend the manat in the latest effort to break the grip of a currency crisis.

The regulator will use the money to “ensure macroeconomic stability” in 2017, according to a decree signed by President Ilham Aliyev and published on Tuesday. Under the plan, the assets of the State Oil Fund known as Sofaz will decline for a second consecutive year after shrinking by 4 percent in 2016.