Aggregate assets managed by a universe of 73 sovereign wealth funds increased 17% to $6.3 trillion as of March 31, up from $5.4 trillion at the start of October 2013, the last time researcher Preqin reviewed this part of the asset owner industry.
The overall industry growth was due to continued funding from government sponsors of the funds and investment returns, said the Preqin report, which was released Thursday.
A majority of sovereign wealth funds — 59% — experienced an increase in assets over the 18-month period, 11% had no change and 30% lost ground, the Preqin data showed.
“This growth … has been in the headwind of falling oil prices (in 2014), one of the main sources of funding for these institutions,” said Amy Bensted, Preqin’s head of hedge fund products, in the report.
Among other sovereign wealth fund facts Preqin reported as of March 31:
- 46 countries have at least one sovereign wealth fund and 48% are at least 10 years old;
- 70% invested in at least one alternative asset class;
- 60% of the universe invested in real estate and infrastructure;
- Sovereign wealth funds help national development, as 58% of the funds invested in economic infrastructure and 44% invested in social infrastructure;
- Asia-based sovereign wealth funds managed $2.7 trillion, or 43% of aggregate assets, followed by Middle Eastern entities which managed 32%, or $2 trillion of overall assets; and
- Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, is the largest sovereign wealth fund, with $818 billion, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority took the second place spot with an estimated $773 billion.