The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines financial stability issues that arise from the increased presence of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) in global financial markets by assessing whether and how stock markets react to the announcements of investments and divestments to firms by SWFs using an event study approach. Based on 166 publicly traceable events collected on investments and divestments by major SWFs during the period from 1990 to 2009, the paper evaluates the short-term financial impact of SWFs on selected public equity markets in which they invest. The impact is analyzed on different sectors (financial and nonfinancial), actions (buy and sell), market types (developed and emerging markets), and level of corporate governance (high and low score). Results, based on these 166 events, show that there was no significant destabilizing effect of SWFs on equity markets, which is consistent with anecdotal evidence.