Sovereign wealth funds increase exposure to Milan stock exchange

In 2012, sovereign wealth funds have invested about €1.5bn in the Italian economy, according to research by Italy’s Banca Monte Paschi di Siena on about 60 global funds.

In Italy, those investors account for 36% of the overall capitalization of Italy’s stock exchange Borsa Italiana, and investments have grown substantially from €500m in 2011.

Of the total, about 20 funds are now playing a key role in global financial markets, mainly based in Middle East, China, Russia or northern Europe.

As an example, Italy’s fashion firm Valentino was acquired last year by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund from private equity fund Permira.

Abu Dhabi sovereign fund has increased its holding in UniCredit.

Overall, the Norwegian sovereign fund has the most predominant presence in Italy, with €4.7bn invested in shares, €6.3bn in bonds and €4.2bn in government bonds.

At global level, assets managed by sovereign wealth funds increased from $2trn to $5.1trn of assets under management over the last five years.

MPS expects the volume of investments to reach $10 trillion by 2015.

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