Asia's Leading Investors: The biggest winners and losers

AsianInvestor’s list of top 10 Asian investors by AUM remains largely unchanged since last year, with the exception of China Life Insurance, which climbed five places to number nine.
Asia's Leading Investors: The biggest winners and losers

The same five institutional investors as last year are the top of this year’s AsianInvestor annual ranking of the 250 largest asset owners by assets under management (AUM).

The People's Bank of China came first again, followed by Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), Bank of Japan, China Investment Corporation and Korea’s National Pension Service in fifth.

With assets of $3.2 trillion, the Chinese central bank maintained its top position despite only growing its holdings by 5.21% between March 2020 and March 2021 – a modest gain compared to GPIF’s 18.44% increase and the average 27.61% increase achieved by Chinese asset owners on the list. Yet, its AUM are still almost double GPIF’s $1.7 trillion, its next largest peer.

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Beijing-headquartered Sunshine Life Insurance made the biggest jump in the rankings, from 117th to 97th place, in line with a 44.13% growth in AUM to $39.4 billion.

Another big mover was the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which jumped from 90th to 72nd place, in line with AUM growth of over 50% from April 2020 to May 2021. A spokesperson highlighted the Australian central bank’s latest monetary policy statement which said its bond purchases last year explained the growth in the RBA's assets.

Taiwan’s Central Bank of the Republic of China lost its place in the top 10 to China Life Insurance, which climbed five places to number nine by growing its AUM 28.78% to $547.3 billion.


The biggest losers in the ranking were AIA Korea, which fell 147 places to number 175 even though its AUM grew by 2.86% between December 2019 and November 2020. On the back of their asset bases shrinking, Australia’s Westpac Insurance, fell 43 places to 236, and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka fell 37 places to 222.

Westbank is one of the top Australian banks to be winding down their non-core businesses following tighter regulation, and Sri Lanka saw its foreign reserves plummet in line with a weakened rupee.

The full list of leading asset owners by AUM was published in the summer 2021 edition of the AsianInvestor magazine.

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