Malta’s National Development and Social Fund (NDSF) – established to manage and administer receipts from the country’s Individual Investor Programme – has raised a total of €432,014,517 since inception and until August 31st this year, according to the fund’s board of governors. The reported figures make the NDSF the world’s 43rd largest sovereign wealth fund by assets under management (AUM).
While the fund, which receives 70% of the applicant contributions to the country’s citizenship program, has future charitable commitments in the order of some €56 million, it has retained the bulk of the nearly half-billion euros in a separate account with Malta’s central bank.
It’s also made potentially higher yield investments, both in the public and private sectors; last month, the fund bought a 49% stake in Lombard Bank and has acquired more than €130 million in publicly traded securities and treasury bonds, according to the Times of Malta.
Malta’s public nest egg is among the more recent additions to the growing number of sovereign wealth funds – governments saving surplus revenue on behalf of the population – the most famous of which is that of Norway’s pension fund, which recently passed a market cap of US$1 trillion and which owns some 1.5% of all publicly traded equity in the world.
The NDSF’s recorded balance – equivalent to exactly half a billion US dollars at current exchange rates – places it on par with the sovereign wealth fund of Vietnam (the SCIC), a country of nearly 100 million people with an economy 20 times the size of Malta’s.
Image credit: By Enrique Íñiguez Rodríguez (Qoan) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons