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    Russian Stabilization Fund rises 3.7% in October to $148 bln

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    Russia's Stabilization Fund grew 3.7% to 3.6 trillion rubles ($148 billion) from October 1 to November 1, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Stabilization Fund grew 3.7% to 3.6 trillion rubles ($148 billion) from October 1 to November 1, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

    The Stabilization Fund was set up to accrue windfall oil revenues and has also been used to pay foreign debt.

    According to the Finance Ministry's investment formula, U.S. dollars account for 45% of the fund's foreign currency, euros make up 45%, and British pounds 10%. As of November 1, the fund held $60.56 bln, 46.58 bln euros, and 7 bln pounds.

    The ministry said that during October the fund received about 149.46 bln rubles ($6 bln) in additional budget revenue for September.

    In October, the fund's resources were used to service the country's foreign debt, including 8.9 bln rubles ($360 mln) to the United States for agricultural loans and 11.50 bln rubles in Soviet-era debt to the United Arab Emirates.

    Originally, the 2007 budget stipulated that the Stabilization Fund would receive 1.7 trillion rubles ($68 bln) by the end of the year, given the average Urals crude price of $61 per barrel.

    In late July, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the oil price this year was expected to average at $63-65 per barrel, and that the government would have to readjust the outlook for the fund.

    The budget surplus, which the ministry expects at 469 bln rubles ($19 bln) by the end of the year, will be transferred to the 2008 budget, the ministry said.

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