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London king of sovereign wealth funds

Wednesday 30 March 2011 - by Andrew Hickley

London is in "pole position" to attract a growing share of sovereign wealth fund investment, according to a new report.

Estimating that SWFs held assets worth a record $4.2tn (€2.98tn) under management in 2010, TheCityUK calculates that this figure could reach $5.5tn (€3.9tn) by the end of 2012 as the global recovery spurs increases in commodity demands.

It labels London in particular as an important centre for potential growth for sovereign wealth funds, arguing it is a location favoured both for clearing houses and for the managing of SWFs.

It says that structural strengths associated with the cluster of financial services, along with the UK's strong regulatory framework, have helped encourage SWF investors into the country.

It also says the UK Government is "committed to ensuring" the UK remains "an open and competitive market for international investment".                      

"A number of funds from Kuwait, Brunai, Singapore and United Arab Emirates have set up representative offices in London," says Marko Maslakovic, senior manager of economic research at TheCityUK.

"The UK's open and competitive market for international investment puts London in pole position to capture a growing share of this market over the coming years."

The report also argues that the crisis in the Arab world is unlikely to significantly harm growth of the funds, which saw an estimated 11 per cent rise in 2010.

National funds for countries such as Libya, Algeria and Bahrain collectively manage around $150bn (€106.5bn) of assets, with this figure representing only 3 per cent of global SWPs under management.

"Countries with the largest SWFs are so far not affected by the disruption," it states.

In addition, the report calculates that an additional $6.8tn (€4.82tn) was held by other sovereign investment vehicles in 2010, with these including pension reserve funds and development funds.

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2011-03-31 11:12:18 | David Sambar
It would be interesting to see a breakdown by country of SWF investments