There’s oil in them thar wealth funds
Some interesting new data on sovereign wealth funds from State Street Global Advisors, a huge fund firm that does a lot of business with them. Most interesting, perhaps, is that the vast majority of sovereign wealth fund money comes from oil and gas revenues rather than from countries building up large foreign reserves from other trade, eg China.
- — The U.S. firm identified 37 major sovereign wealth funds worth a total of $3 trillion.
- — More than two-thirds, or 70 percent, of that money came from oil and gas interests.
- — Of the 37, all had at least $3 billion in assets.
- — Eight of them had more than $100 billion.
- — Only 13 of the 37 funds were not based on commodity wealth.
- — Asia had the largest number of SWFs at 13.
- — The 10 funds based in the Middle East had nearly half the wealth, or 46 percent, between them.
These funds, incidentally, are becoming more like mainstream investment companies by the day. State Street says they are eventually going to turn into the equivalent of large public sector pension funds and could well start becoming more active as shareholders in companies in which they invest.