India, second most coveted market for sovereign wealth funds

India has emerged as the second most coveted investment market after the United States for sovereign wealth funds and public pensions funds in 2022, according to a study by asset manager Invesco.
Shoppers crowd at a market place ahead in Mumbai, India, October 22, 2022.
Shoppers crowd at a market place ahead in Mumbai, India, October 22, 2022. REUTERS/Niharika Kulkarni/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - India has emerged as the second most coveted investment market after the United States for sovereign wealth funds and public pensions funds in 2022, according to a study by asset manager Invesco published on Monday.

Sovereign investors, which now manage some $33 trillion in assets, have also seen a rapid rise in allocations to private markets, though this development might start to slow with fixed income back in favour, the Invesco Global Sovereign Asset Management Study said.

"Over the last 10 years sovereign investors have invested with the wind at their backs thanks to the secular bull market that emerged from the global financial crisis," said Rod Ringrow, Invesco's head of official institutions.

Average annual returns for sovereign investors over the past decade stood at 6.5% and, for sovereign wealth funds alone, at 10% in 2021, Invesco found. However, 2022 could prove to be a turning point with higher inflation and tighter monetary policy hitting long-term expected returns.

While the United States remained the top destination, some sovereign investors were keen to rebalance portfolios, fearing they had become overly reliant on U.S. markets which left them vulnerable to the correction in equity markets seen this year, Invesco said. Back in 2014, the UK was the most desirable destination.

Emerging markets were set to benefit from the latest shift, the study predicted.

Among developing nations, India has overtaken China as the most popular emerging market, having climbed to No. 2 in 2022 from No. 9 in 2014.

"While this is partly because funds with dedicated Asian allocations are trimming their China exposure, investors have commended India's positive economic reforms and strong demographic profile," the study found.

China currently ranks in sixth place.

The past decade had also seen a steady increase in the creation of sovereign wealth funds with a dozen established in Africa, of which 11 have a strategic mandate to develop local economies, Invesco found.

(Reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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