18:57 GMT +320 March 2018
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    Russian oil revenue fund needs to be overhauled - ministry

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    MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Finance Ministry called Thursday for a revision of the fixed non-investment sum in the oil revenue fund, citing concern that it will fail to cover budget losses in times of lower oil prices.

    The fixed non-investment sum in the Stabilization Fund, set up in 2003 to collect windfall revenues from high oil prices, equals 500 billion rubles ($19 billion), or 1.6% of GDP, a ministry official said.

    "The fixed sum will be unable to cover budget spending needs in conditions of falling oil prices," the official said.

    The Finance Ministry has devised a new structure for the Stabilization Fund. The scheme includes an oil and gas fund, which will in turn consist of a reserve fund and a savings fund.

    The reserve fund is expected to occupy 7-10% and will be the fixed non-investment sum designed to make up for budget shortfalls if oil prices fall below $40, the official said.

    Russia's Urals crude traded on the RTS at a price of $58.15 in the latest trade Thursday. The Russian budget, which is heavily dependent on oil prices, is based on a Urals price of $61 per barrel and is expected to run a surplus of $56.5 billion next year.

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