The sovereign wealth fund transparency index has found that Australia's $66 billion Future Fund is slightly less transparent than SWFs of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), New Zealand and Azerbaijan.
The SWF Institute has developed the Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index, which is based on 10 principles that show how transparent SWFs are to the public.
Each SWF is awarded one point for each principle, which ranks them based on disclosures such as their providing up-to-date independently audited annual reports, investment strategy and portfolio updates.
The institute has modeled the index' principles on the Norway's Government Pension Fund-Global, which it said is one of the best examples of transparency in the world.
The Future Fund scored nine out of a possible 10 along with South Korea's KIC, New Mexico's SWF and Wyoming's fund in the fourth quarter of 2009.
A minimum rating of eight out of 10 is required to claim adequate transparency, according to the institute.
The institute did not disclose which principle the Future Fund did not meet. The fund's website details its investment strategy, investment managers and provides regular portfolio updates.
A Future Fund spokesperson said the Fund has played a significant role in developing the Santiago Principles, which established generally accepted principles and practices for Sovereign Wealth Fund governance, accountability and investment practices.
In addition, the fund continues to develop its approach to disclosure and recently confirmed that it will shortly be providing a summary of how it exercises its proxy voting rights in Australia.
Topping the index and scoring the highest scores possible were Chile's SWF, UAE-based Mubadala, Singapore's Temasek, Norway's Government Pension Fund-Global and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund
SWFs with scores less than two out of 10 were based in Oman, Nigeria, Kiribati, Iran, Brunei and Algeria.