Australia Future Fund published today its 2020 year-end results, confirming it had returned +1.7% for the 12 months ending on December 31. Together with capital injections, withdrawals and dividends, the fund grew its total AuM a +12.9% in USD terms (+2.8% in AUD terms). This is in a year where the Australian economy dropped a -4.2% and the world economy, a -4.4%.
In fact, most SOIs that have published their figures at year-end experienced similar growths. NZ Super, who was portrayed in our 2021 Annual Report as the top performer in the past six years, grew a +20.8% in USD terms (+12.8% in NZD terms). PIF grew a +23.1% thanks to several government capital infusions. And US’ funds growing included CalPERS (+11.9%), CalSTRS (+11.5%) and Alaska PFC’s (+5.0%).
The world’s largest SWF, Norway’s NBIM is not falling behind either. The 2020 year-end figure and returns will be confirmed tomorrow at a public conference, but taking into account today’s number, we can anticipate that the growth will have been higher than 11% in NOK and higher than 15% in USD terms.
The exceptions were pockets of Central Banks that were used to recalibrate the reserves and stabilize the financial budget. These included HKMA Exchange Fund and NBK-hosted National Fund of Kazakhstan, which dropped a -4.3% and a -4.9% in USD terms, respectively.
Whether the equity markets will keep pushing SOIs’ balance sheets, and this growth will continue during 2021, that’s up for debate.