Sovereign wealth fund direct deals near record in first half of ‘14

The value of direct investment transactions by sovereign wealth funds increased 23.1% to $50 billion in the six months ended June 30, compared with the same period in 2013, said the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, whose transactions database tracks these deals.

That was the highest value since 2008, when direct transactions hit $51.1 billion for the first six months of the year. A significant portion of the 2008 transactions was attributable to bank bailouts, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute said.

Financials was the most targeted sector for direct transactions, at $12.9 billion in the first half of 2014. That was an increase of 34% from the year-earlier period.

Singapore topped the list in terms of acquisitions for direct transactions, accounting for $21.2 billion for the first half of this year. The country’s $177 billion Temasek Holdings made the biggest acquisition in the period, with a $5.7 billion purchase of a 25% stake in AS Watson Holdings.