Azerbaijan is a small country and does not have too much gold but I am sure the trend of buying more gold or bringing the gold back into your home country will not be missed by other central banks or soverign funds etc.
For the purposes of diversification of the investment portfolio and increasing profitability of SOFAZ, new investment policy was adopted in accordance with the amendments under the Presidential Decree ? 519 dated October 27, 2011 made to "Rules on management of foreign currency assets of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan". According to the new investment policy, SOFAZ can invest up to 5 % of its investment portfolio in each of the following asset classes: gold, equities and real estate.
Starting from February 1, 2012 Oil Fund started the purchase of 25 gold bars conforming to the requirements of London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) per week (10,000 troy ounces) from the banks which are market-maker members of LBMA. In order to reduce the risks associated with price fluctuations, Fund has been implementing a strategy, according to which the overall amount of gold planned to be purchased will be bought on a weekly basis in equal amounts within two years.
14,934 kg of gold (480,146 troy ounces) was included into SOFAZ investment portfolio as of December 31, 2012.
The gold purchased by the Fund is temporarily stored in JP Morgan’s London vault considering its experience and competitive storage costs.
In the next stage Fund plans to import strategically important gold reserves to Azerbaijan and preserve it in the country. Approximately, 1 ton (32 150 troy ounces) of the purchased gold, conforming to the requirements of LBMA was transferred to Azerbaijan by UK’s Brink’s Global Services on January 11, 2013 and temporarily stored in the vaults of the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
It is planned to construct a vault for storage of valuables in the new administrative building of SOFAZ. The gold will be stored in this vault after the building officially comes into operation.
The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, the sovereign wealth fund, was set up in December 1999 by the Presidential Decree as an extra-budgetary entity which accumulates and manages oil and gas revenues of the country. The Fund’s primary objectives are to help maintain macroeconomic stability in the country and to generate wealth for present and future generations. As of 01 December, 2012, assets of SOFAZ totaled USD 33 895 mln.