Russia postpones plan to replenish sovereign fund via forex purchases

MOSCOW Tue Feb 4, 2014 8:02am EST

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MOSCOW Feb 4 (Reuters) - The Russian Finance Ministry said on Tuesday it will postpone foreign currency purchases on the forex market to replenish one of its sovereign wealth funds while the rouble is weakening.

The ministry said last month it would transfer 207.6 billion roubles ($5.87 billion) of revenues to the Reserve Fund, one of the rainy-day funds in which the government saves windfall energy revenues, in a move seen as pressuring the rouble.

"When the central bank every day is taming volatility, we certainly will not harm the central bank," Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev told journalists.

The rouble brushed close to its record low in early trading on Tuesday, reaching 41.17 against the dollar-euro currency basket, but had reversed the loss by 1250 GMT when it was up 0.7 against the basket to 40.79. ($1 = 35.3405 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; Writing by Lidia Kelly, editing by Jason Bush)

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