Sovereign wealth funds (SWF) set up by nations flush with foreign currency reserves have not always had the warmest of welcomes due to the lack of transparency in the way they operate. That may be changing, according to a survey by communications and research strategy consultants Hill & Knowlton and Penn Schoen Berland in the top seven destination countries. Sovereign Brands Survey 2010 reveals that post the global economic crisis, SWFs are now being viewed more favourably, with their investment activity considered one of the least likely sources to have contributed to market turmoil. Decision makers in countries such as India, China and Brazil view SFWs as a stable source of long-term funding. However, concerns over transparency remain. When asked which factors were most important in deciding whether they would approve of an SWF investing in their country, most decision makers including in India (81%) ranked transparency above accountability and good governance. Political and economic stability and commitment to international law of a country were also found to be a major influence on the reputation of its SWF, with decision makers seeing almost no difference between the two. That is the reason why countries such as Norway, Singapore and Hong Kong rated highly in the survey while Libya, Algeria, Botswana and Nigeria were regarded less favourably.
Also See SWF (Graphic)
Graphic by Yogesh Kumar / Mint