Leading global sovereign wealth funds 2020, by managed assets

As of July 2020. In that month, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund was the largest sovereign wealth fund (SWF) globally, with managed assets amounting to almost 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars.

Sovereign wealth funds – additional information

In the main, sovereign wealth funds are funded by foreign-exchange reserves, assets which are held by monetary authorities or central banks in the form of U.S. dollars and other leading world currencies as a way of backing liabilities. Sovereign wealth funds are state-owned and are composed of a wide array of financial assets including stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals and other financial instruments.

A state’s central bank will generally hold the sovereign wealth fund; in the process of its management of a nations funds or banking system funds will be accumulated. These types of state fund are of major economic and fiscal importance. Other variations of sovereign wealth funds are simply state savings that are invested for the purpose of bringing in an investment return; these may not play a significant role in the state’s fiscal management.

Although most sovereign wealth funds are funded by foreign exchange reserves, there are a number of distinctions between the two: sovereign wealth funds are characterized by maximizing return over the long-term, whereas foreign exchange reserves serve their purposes as managers of liquidity, mainly stabilizing currency over the short-term. Stabilization sovereign wealth funds were created to reduce the level of volatility in government revenues, as a way of acting as blocker to the boom-bust cycles’ negative effect on government spending and national economy. Saving sovereign wealth funds build up the level of savings for future generations, this is often preferable to spending the money immediately causing the economy to overheat. It is much better to spend the saved money during periods of low inflation.

Largest sovereign wealth funds worldwide as of July 2020, by assets under management

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period

July 30, 2020

Supplementary notes

* Estimate.
The source adds the following information: "All figures quoted are from official sources, or, where the institutions concerned do not issue statistics of their assets, from other publicly available sources."

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