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Azeri State Oil Fund to Invest $500Mln in VTB

Azerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ has agreed to invest around $500 million in a new share offering by VTB, Russia's second-largest bank, the fund said in e-mailed comments.

VTB says it has already received firm orders for all of the 2.5 trillion shares it is selling in Moscow at 4.1 kopecks apiece, raising 102.5 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) to bolster its capital.

Jamala Aliyeva, head of public relations at SOFAZ, said the fund had been investing in Russian money market instruments, fixed-income securities and commercial real estate since 2012. The VTB investment marked a further step to strengthen its presence in Russia.

In the e-mail, she said SOFAZ would hold around 3 percent of VTB's share capital following the capital increase. It held no VTB stock previously.

The Russian bank declined immediate comment.

(Reuters)

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