Russian rainy-day fund shrinks slightly to $154.95 billion in April

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May 16 (Reuters) - Russia's National Wealth Fund (NWF), which includes some of the country's oil revenues, declined slightly in value in April to $154.95 billion, while its liquid assets shrank more sharply, finance ministry data showed on Monday.

Russian authorities plan to use funds from the rainy-day cushion NFW as the main source of financing to cover a budget deficit forecast for this year. read more

The NWF, originally designed to help keep the pension system in balance, stood at 8.3% of gross domestic product projected in 2022 as of May 1, down from 9.8%, or $155.2 billion, a month earlier.

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The change in the nominal value of the fund may have been affected by the rouble's appreciation over the period as well as possible revisions to official 2022 GDP growth forecasts, something the ministry did not mention in its monthly report.

The fund's liquid assets overall shrank to $110.89 billion in April from $115.3 billion as the finance ministry channelled part of the funds' money to pension payouts, the data showed.

Authorities have extensive plans to use NWF money this year, planning to channel it towards supporting the value of stocks and government bonds that have shrunk sharply since late February.

The NWF stood at $175 billion in early February before Moscow started what it calls a "special operation" in Ukraine on Feb. 24, prompting Western sanctions against Russia and a sell-off on the stock market, in which NWF money was invested. read more

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Reporting by Reuters

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