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Nothing gets in the way of growth of sovereign wealth funds, not even deficits in sponsor countries.

Assets in sovereign wealth funds rose by 9 per cent last year to $3.51-trillion, even overcoming withdrawals by some governments like Russia to plug big budget holes.

Numbers from consultant Preqin show that one of the largest increases in total assets came at Norway's Government Pension Fund - Global. It posted returns in 2009 of over 25 per cent and now has well over $400-billion in assets under management, Preqin said.

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At the other end of the spectrum is Russia's Reserve Fund. It is less than half its former size, with total assets now standing at around $60-billion.

Asia dominates, with funds in the region controlling about 40 per cent of the aggregate total assets of all sovereign wealth funds, Preqin said.

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