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Asset Owners

Global public investors’ assets rise 7.3% in 2017 to $36.2 trillion

Global public investors' assets totaled $36.2 trillion at the end of 2017, a 7.3% increase from the end of 2016, according to a report from the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum.

Global Public Investor 2018, the report's fifth year, showed increases for the first time in all three types of global public investor institutions. Pension fund assets increased $1.1 trillion to $14.8 trillion at the end of 2017, an 8.1% increase from the prior year, while sovereign wealth fund assets rose $397 billion to $8.1 trillion during 2017, a 5.1% increase from Dec. 31, 2016. Global central bank assets rose $959 billion, or 7.8%, to $13.3 trillion in the year ended Dec. 31.

The think tank surveyed public investors consisting of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and central banks.

The assets of European public investors saw the largest percentage increase, up 12% during 2017, expanding by $800 billion to $7.6 trillion. Sovereign wealth funds and pension funds contributed $220 billion and $169 billion, respectively, to that figure.

Asia-Pacific was the next-best performing region, growing by 7%, or $948 billion, to $13.8 trillion in assets. North American assets grew 8%, or $611 billion, and Latin American assets grew by 7%, or $92 billion. The report did not provide total assets for the latter two regions.

The survey results showed that 40% of respondents planned to increase green bond investments and 35% plan to invest in renewables over the next 12 months.

The survey was completed by 750 institutions from 174 countries across five continents, comprising 495 public pension funds, 164 central banks and 91 sovereign funds. It is available on OMFIF's website.