Head first into the post-pandemic world.
CENTRAL BANK INTEREST in renminbi investments has accelerated during the Covid-19 crisis, as reserve managers step up pre-pandemic trends towards diversification, including buying more green and digital assets, OMFIF’s 2021 Global Public Investor reveals. Drawing on a survey of over 100 central banks, sovereign funds and public pension funds, as well as internal research and contributions from a range of external asset owners and managers, the report paints a picture of a rapidly changing sovereign investment universe. A strengthened push to ‘green and grow’ GPI assets comes as they have reached their highest level ever as of the end of 2020, standing at $42.7tn. Central bank reserves have also risen to record highs, standing at $15.3tn as of the end of 2020, compared to $14tn at the conclusion of 2019, in spite of the pandemic. Public pension fund assets continue to rise, up to $18.1tn from $17.2tn as of the beginning of 2021, with the majority of assets concentrated in North America ($9.1tn) and Asia Pacific ($4.8tn). This is partly due to stellar returns on riskier assets, such as equities, which experienced a stunning post-pandemic resurgence. The same holds true for sovereign fund assets, albeit at a slower pace. Their assets grew by just under 4% to $9.3tn from $9tn.