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More than 100 multinational corporations (MNCs), especially the big tech, have market caps, revenues and even earnings that are larger than the GDP of at least 137, 123, and 47 countries, respectively and are shaping the future of the global economy and financial markets. At the same time, there are more than 130 sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) around the world with assets totaling more than $9.65 trillion, 55 percent of which is concentrated in the Persian Gulf and Chinese including Hong Kong SWFs – 31 and 24 percent respectively. SWFs have been playing an increasingly important role in global development finance and financial stability, two roles that have been traditionally designated for the Bretton Woods Institutions. For example, during the 2007-09 great financial crisis, foreign SWFs invested about $40 billion in troubled U.S. financial institutions.
Furthermore, recent decades have witnessed the strong emergence of pension funds as institutional investors. As of the end of 2020, global pension assets exceeded $56 trillion, almost double the amount in 2010. While, bonds and equities were the two main asset classes driving these returns, pension funds are increasingly investing in less liquid asset classes with longer return time-horizons such as infrastructure and real estates. This could be a game-changer in filling the global infrastructure financing gap, estimated to reach $15 trillion by 2040.
Featured work and analysis
Econographics Jun 13, 2022
Quasi-state financial institutions and the Bretton Woods: A case for collaboration?
By Amin Mohseni-Cheraghlou
The emergence of new regional entities in global finance means the Bretton Woods Institutions are no longer the sole flag-bearers of economic development and financial stability.
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