Twenty-nine, or about 60%, of 48 sovereign wealth funds studied by the GAO provide information about the size of their investment assets, but only four disclosed all their investments, according to a report released today.
The Government Accountability Office found that 30 of the funds disclosed some information about their investment activities and 21 reported some information about their individual holdings. Also, 37 of those studied publicly reported the purpose of their investment fund.
Some of the countries examined specifically prohibit public disclosure of SWF activities.
The combined assets of the 48 funds were between $2.7 trillion and $3.2 trillion. Using surveys of U.S. financial institutions, it is estimated that foreign investors, including governments, private entities and individuals, owned more than $20 trillion of U.S. assets in 2007.
The report says that expanding U.S. agencies data collection requirements could provide lawmakers with more information, but also could increase costs and potentially discourage SWFs from making investments in the U.S.
The report comes in response to a request by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D.-Conn., and ranking minority member Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.