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The Globe and Mail

Canadian funds rank high in new book on sovereign wealth

Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board CEO David Denison.

MARK BLINCH/Mark Blinch/Reuters

Sovereign wealth funds are often cast as the bogeymen of global investing. Critics slam these big pools of government owned or managed cash for playing geopolitics with their cash.

But economist Edwin Truman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics argues not all SWFs are created equal.

In a new book, Sovereign Wealth Funds: Threat or Salvation?, Mr. Truman rates funds on such things as their independence from government masters (and official reserves), their transparency and their track records.

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And three of Canada's largest public funds scored in the top 10 for good behaviour -- the Canada Pension Plan, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Each posted scores of 80 per cent or better.

The gold medal goes to Norway's Government Pension Fund-Global, with a score of 97.

So who are the SWF bad boys? Almost all are based in the Middle East. At the bottom of the list with a score of 11 is the UAE's Abu Dhabi Investment Authority -- the largest state-owned wealth fund in the world and a big investor. It made a big splash after taking a large stake in Citigroup. It also owns real estate around the world. Also down near the bottom are the Brunei Investment Agency, the Investment Corporation of Dubai and the Sudan Oil Revenue Stabilization Account.

Click here for a synopsis of the book.

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About the Author
National Business Correspondent

Barrie McKenna is correspondent and columnist in The Globe and Mail's Ottawa bureau. From 1997 until 2010, he covered Washington from The Globe's bureau in the U.S. capital. During his U.S. posting, he traveled widely, filing stories from more than 30 states. Mr. McKenna has also been a frequent visitor to Japan and South Korea on reporting assignments. More

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