Patterns and Trends in Sovereign Wealth Fund Investments: A Post-Crisis Descriptive Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper


University of Tehran Faculty of Economics



nalyzing more than 9,400 investment transactions performed by 32 sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), from 23 countries, and targeted towards 77 countries, between 2010 and 2013, this study highlights some of the most important visible patterns and nuances in SWF investments. First, lion’s share of SWF investments are cross-border transactions that originated from and targeted towards high-income economies, while SWFs from emerging economies (mainly China) are also becoming important players in the global capital markets. Second, the most popular sectors are the financial and the real estate sectors mainly because of their more liquid nature and the energy sector for its strategic importance. Finally, domestic investments are relatively more popular among non-commodity based SWFs in comparison to commodity based SWFs. The results also show that while infrastructure investments are in line with the time horizon of SWF investments and their objectives, only five percent of SWF investments were targeted toward the infrastructure sector.


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