UPDATE 1-Chile to inject some $2 bln into its sovereign wealth funds

Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:29am EST

SANTIAGO Feb 20 (Reuters) - Chile will inject around $2.0 billion into its sovereign wealth funds, bringing the total in its Reserve Pension Fund (FRP) and Social and Economic Stabilization Fund (FEES) to a record $22.9 billion, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said on Wednesday.

"The FEES is a fund that exists so we can face the adverse economic situation in international markets," Larrain told reporters.

Chile's relatively small, export-dependent economy has remained surprisingly buoyant despite slowing commodities demand in top trade partner China and fallout from the euro zone's debt crisis, expanding 5.6 percent last year, according to the central bank's IMACEC, an indicator of economic activity.

Firm domestic demand, a tight labor market and strong levels of investment have boosted the economy in the world's leading copper exporter.

"The funds are going to hit a total figure of around $22.9 billion and with that they are going to beat the all-time high they had reached" prior to the global financial crisis, Larrain said.

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