UPDATE 1-Norway's $885 bln oil fund to hold onto Russian assets

miércoles 20 de agosto de 2014 06:48 GYT

* Russian assets around $8.2 bln at end Q2

* Buys Japanese, British and German bonds in Q2

* Sells Brazilian, Canadian and Swedish bonds in Q2 (Add detail on Russia)

By Gwladys Fouche

OSLO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Norway's $885 billion sovereign wealth fund is likely to hang on to its $8.2 billion worth of Russian assets despite Western sanctions on Moscow, but does not plan further purchases because of political risk, it said on Wednesday.

The fund, one of the world's biggest investors, has $8.2 billion invested in Russian bonds and stocks, and kept that holding broadly unchanged in recent months, its Chief Executive, Yngve Slyngstad, told a news conference.

Over that period Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia, accusing it of backing separatist rebels in Eastern Ukraine. Moscow, denying the charge, hit back by stopping imports of many food products.

When asked if the fund has responded by reducing stakes in Russian companies like energy firms Lukoil, Rosneft and Novatek, or Russia's top banks, Slyngstad said: "It's not had any effect in the form of sales in those companies."

With one of the longest investment horizons among any investor in the market, the fund is often a big buyer during periods of market turbulence. But Slyngstad said this rule did not apply to volatility in Russia because it was due to geopolitical risk.   Continuación...