The International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) has created a database of sovereign wealth fund (SWF) direct equity investments starting in January 2015. 

The data is grouped for private equity, infrastructure, and real estate. We think these asset classes have different risk/return profiles, and would be confusing to present them together.

We have created this database to further encourage disclosure and transparency among the sovereign wealth fund community and provide an accurate representation of the strategies sovereign wealth funds employ when allocating capital in global equity markets. We hope that this endeavour will help actors in financial markets and the specialist media better understand this diverse and unique group of investors.

Data should not be compared with previous years because of revisions due to improved or adjusted data or methodology. Totals might not add up due to rounding.

Institutional Coverage

In our database we include IFSWF members and SWFs that are not members that we believe conform to the definition set out in the Santiago Principles: “special purpose investment funds or arrangements that are owned by the general government. Created by the general government for macroeconomic purposes, SWFs hold, manage, or administer assets to achieve financial objectives, and employ a set of investment strategies that include investing in foreign financial assets.”

It is worth noting that this definition excludes foreign currency reserves held by central banks for monetary policy purposes, even those that in some instances manage part of the foreign exchange reserves like a SWF such as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), or the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).

After a rigorous research and assessment process we have settled on a group of more than 60 state-owned investors. 

List of SWFs tracked in the Database

SWF Name Type of Fund SWF Country Year
Fundo Soberano de Angola Hybrid Angola 2012
Future Fund Savings Australia 2006
Western Australian Future Fund Savings Australia 2012
State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan Hybrid Azerbaijan 1999
Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company Strategic Bahrain 2006
Fondo para la Revolución Industrial Productiva (FINPRO) Strategic Bolivia 2012
Pula Fund Hybrid Botswana 1994
Brunei Investment Agency Savings Brunei 1983
Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund Savings Canada 1976
Economic and Social Stabilization Fund Stabilisation Chile 2006
Pension Reserve Fund Savings Chile 2006
China Investment Corporation Savings China 2007
Fondo de Ahorro y Estabilización (FAE) Stabilisation Colombia 2011
National Investment Fund Savings Cyprus 2019
Egypt Sovereign Wealth Fund Strategic Egypt 2018
BpiFrance Strategic France 2014
Fonds Gabonais d’Investissements Stratégiques Strategic Gabon 2012
Ghana Petroleum Funds Hybrid Ghana 2011
Natural Resources Fund Hybrid Guyana 2019
Pemerintah Investasi Indonesia (PIP) Strategic Indonesia 2006
National Infrastructure Investment Fund Strategic India 2016
National Development Fund of Iran Strategic Iran 2011
Ireland Strategic Investment Fund Strategic Ireland 2001
CDP Equity Strategic Italy 2011
National Investment Corporation of National Bank of Kazakhstan Savings Kazakhstan 2000
Samruk-Kazyna Strategic Kazakhstan 2008
Revenue Equalization Reserve Fund Stabilisation Kiribati 1956
Kuwait Investment Authority Hybrid Kuwait 1953
Libyan Investment Authority Savings Libya 2006
Khazanah Nasional BHD Strategic Malaysia 1992
Fondo Mexicano del Petróleo para la Estabilización y el Desarrollo Hybrid Mexico 2014
Fondo de Estabilización de los Ingresos Petroleros Stabilisation Mexico 2000
Future Heritage Fund Savings Mongolia 2016
Fiscal Stabilisation Fund Stabilisation Mongolia 2016
Ithmar Capital Strategic Morocco 2011
Intergenerational Trust Fund for the People of the Republic of Nauru Savings Nauru 2015
New Zealand Superannuation Fund Savings New Zealand 2003
Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Hybrid Nigeria 2012
Government Pension Fund Global Savings Norway 1990
Oman Investment Fund Strategic Oman 2006
State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman Hybrid Oman 1980
Palestine Investment Fund Strategic Palestinian Authority 2003
Fondo de Ahorro de Panamá Savings Panama 2012
Fondo de Estabilización Fiscal (FEF) Stabilisation Peru 1999
Qatar Investment Authority Hybrid Qatar 2005
Russian Direct Investment Fund Strategic Russia 2012
National Reserve Fund Stabilisation Russia 2008
National Wealth Fund Savings Russia 2008
Agaciro Development Fund Strategic Rwanda 2012
Public Investment Fund Hybrid Saudi Arabia 1975
Fonds Souverain d’Investissements Stratégiques (FONSIS) Strategic Senegal 2012
GIC Pte. Limited Savings Singapore 1981
Temasek Holdings Strategic Singapore 1974
Korea Investment Corporation Savings South Korea 2005
Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo Strategic Spain 1997
Petroleum Fund of Timor–Leste Savings Timor-Leste 2005
Heritage and Stabilization Fund Hybrid Trinidad and Tobago 2000
Turkey Wealth Fund Strategic Turkey 2017
Turkmenistan Stabilization Fund Stabilisation Turkmenistan 2008
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Savings UAE 1976
Emirates Investment Authority Strategic UAE 2007
Investment Corporation of Dubai Strategic UAE 2006
Mubadala Investment Company1 Hybrid UAE 2002
Petroleum Investment Fund Stabilisation Uganda 2015
Alabama Trust Fund Savings USA 1985
Alaska Permanent Fund Savings USA 1976
New Mexico State Investment Council Savings USA 1958
North Dakota Legacy Fund Savings USA 2011
Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund Savings USA 1974
State Capital Investment Corp Strategic Vietnam 2006

It is important to note that our database excludes transactions by SWFs’ portfolio companies. This is particularly important for funds such as Kazakhstan’s Samruk-Kazyna, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional, Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, whose assets include government holdings in strategic companies.

Where relevant, we record the initial capitalisation of the companies and any subsequent investment in them. This not only prevents double counting, but also prevents us from erroneously capturing transactions that are commercial mergers and acquisition activities, rather than investments that are part of the parent SWF’s investment strategy. 

For example, we would not include any acquisitions carried out by ST Telemedia, a telecommunications and media company wholly owned by Temasek, as this reflects the strategy of the company, not its parent. Neither do we include subsidiaries and/or funds open to external investors, such as Vertex Venture Holdings, a venture capital firm owned by Temasek Holdings, which invests capital provided by external investors as well as Temasek.

This distinction is not often made in commercially available mergers and acquisitions databases, and, therefore, may result in our overall investment values being lower than those reported by these providers.

Asset Class Coverage

Although we consider all the funds listed to be SWFs not all of them will feature in our data. We have focused our data on direct equity investments in both public (listed) and private (unlisted) markets. Many of the institutions included in our list either have an investment mandate or liability profile that prevent them from investing in equity instruments or require them to use external investment managers.1

We do not include external investment mandates in our data. The information on these allocations varies too widely to be meaningful and many contracts with external managers are covered by client confidentiality clauses. 

By recording their direct equity investments, we aim to study SWFs’ strategic investments and partnerships and capture the nuances of how SWFs structure investments. Consequently, we do not include small open-market transactions that appear to be undertaken as part of a passive equity strategy executed by internal management teams.

We do record the acquisition of convertible securities. However, we record when they were bought, not when they were exercised as several conversion dates maybe included in a single transaction.

In private-market investments we are careful to consider any debt facilities used by sovereign wealth funds to finance their acquisition. This is particularly important in real estate, for example, where the use of mortgages and the issuing for mortgage-backed securities is common practice. As a result, we only record the initial equity portion of the investment, rather than the top-line value of the asset. This means that the hard currency amount we record for each investment may be lower than the volumes suggested by other providers of information about SWF activity.

In the case of joint ventures or consortium acquisitions where the total amount is disclosed, but individual contributions are not, we estimate the value by taking into consideration the number of investors, financing and typical investment behaviour by the fund in question. For example, several sovereign wealth funds disclose that they do not take stakes over a certain percentage of the equity of a company, so this is an integral part of assessing the size of the investment.

Data Collection

We collect data from publicly available sources. However, it might come as a surprise that we do not use any commercial mergers and acquisitions databases to provide us with information. Our team’s experience of using these is that they are often inaccurate and/or incomplete as they do not focus on sovereign wealth funds specifically.

Instead, we use a range of online tools to mine data from primary sources such as regulatory and stock-exchange filings as well as press releases. This enables us to assess the real information in the public domain, rather than relying on an interpretation of this information that may have missed vital nuances about the structuring of an investment in the private markets, or may not have noticed that a stake in a public company may have been built up by a sovereign wealth fund over a number of weeks or months, rather than in one go. This is an important nuance as it will generally affect the headline value of the investment.

This is the most accurate way of collecting data in real-time. However, it has provided us with some challenges when creating a database going back more than two years as some filings and disclosures are no longer in the public domain. As a result, we limited our database to starting in 2015, but we may have missed some transactions in the earlier part of our data.

Additionally, each year, after collecting the data, we give IFSWF members the opportunity to highlight any material errors or inaccuracies in the information we have gathered on them. We receive input from a number – but not all – of our members, as some have legal limits on what they can disclose to third parties.

Currency

We report all our data in real US dollars. These are converted from local currency on the date of the completion of the investment, as opposed to the announcement. We use the data from xe.com. In the case of slowly built stakes in public companies we have developed a formula for providing a median value for the share price in local currency and the exchange rate.

Regions, Markets, and Industries

We use the U.N. classification of global regions in the database to record the country in which the target company primarily operates. This country is not necessarily where it is headquartered or listed. If a company operates globally or regionally we defer to the location of the headquarters.

To offer additional insight into SWF investment strategies we use Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) regional indexes to group investments’ target countries by their level of market liquidity.

To identify the industry in which a company operates we follow a customised version of the Industry Classification Benchmark, to classify direct investments into 12 industries and 40 subsectors.


Notes

  1. An exception to this rule is Australia’s Future Fund. Although the Fund’s mandate requires it to use external managers to make investments, it often uses co-investment structures to take quasi-direct stakes in private companies, properties and infrastructure assets. We include these stakes in our data where they are disclosed.