2012 Direct SWF Transactions Total 57.3 Billion, 36 Percent Drop from 2011

The Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database (SWFTD) totaled calendar year 2012 direct sovereign wealth fund transactions to be US$ 57.3 billion, a 36% drop from US$ 89.5 billion in 2011. The fourth quarter of 2012 finished off the strongest in direct transaction amounts, with the second quarter finishing last. In fact, the fourth quarter transaction amount for 2012 has topped 2011 and 2010 by a hair, but not 2009. It is important to remind readers that the database calculates direct sovereign wealth fund transactions, not money given to a commingled fund or funds managed by a third party to invest.

By excluding bailouts such as Ireland’s NPRF infusion to prop up the two major Irish banks and other domestic economic stabilization transactions, there maintains an upward 10-year slope of direct sovereign wealth fund transactions.

Total Direct Sovereign Wealth Fund Investment Activity Per Annum

sovereign wealth fund transactions jan 2013

Annual Sector Growth by Direct Transaction Amount

Sector 2011-2012
Consumer Staples 127.9%
Information Technology 90.1%
Materials 49.0%
Real Estate 36.4%
Infrastructure -2.6%
Consumer Discretionary -22.7%
Energy -46.8%
Utilities -53.6%
Healthcare -57.6%
Industrials -62.7%
Telecommunications -71.3%
Financials -77.1%
Media and Entertainment -93.3%

Source: Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database – Latest database statistics of 1/13/2013

Sovereign wealth funds have actively been investing in 2012, but in some instances they may allocate money to external managers. This often occurs when a fund takes on a new strategy or does not have the capability in-house.

Committing capital to real estate funds has increased in 2012, as SWFs seek to diversify from fixed income and a volatile global equity market. In addition, from 2009 to 2011, assets from a variety of classes were discounted, and sovereign wealth funds stepped in.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database is available online for database subscribers. Transaction data can now be accessed on a more frequent basis. The SWFTD now contains over 3,900 recorded transactions.

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