World Aquatics was renamed as such by a vote at this month's Congress ©Getty Images

The newly-renamed World Aquatics is forecasting a surprisingly big loss for 2022 following a significant decline in the investment performance of its reserve funds.

The body formerly known as FINA is forecasting a net loss of $32.6 million (£26.5 million/€30.7 million) for the year ending in just two weeks' time, with just under half - $15.5 million (£12.6 million/€14.6 million) - attributable to expected financial losses.

While a rally in the light trading that normally characterises the festive period on financial markets could yet reduce the loss ultimately reported, World Aquatics' experience raises the question of whether other sports bodies have suffered adverse fallout from what has been a very turbulent 2022 on financial exchanges.

The aquatics governing body now plans to set up an Investment Committee to assist with monitoring in this area.

insidethegames understands that a top Morgan Stanley banker is to be involved in the new initiative.

In what was another difficult year, just as the impact of COVID-19 was starting to subside, World Aquatics was also hit by the consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Two of the global aquatics events that have been staged this year were originally earmarked for the Russian city of Kazan.

Russia was stripped of both sets of hosting rights following the invasion.

Melbourne stepped in to replace Kazan as host of the ongoing World Swimming Championships (25m)  ©Getty Images
Melbourne stepped in to replace Kazan as host of the ongoing World Swimming Championships (25m) ©Getty Images

While Lima and Melbourne stepped in, the financial outcomes of both events are set to be lower than the anticipated yield had the change in host not been implemented.

Though aquatics officials would no doubt have preferred an easier year given the raft of issues that have plagued the entire international sports sector in the 2020s so far, budget figures for 2023 and 2024 presented at the recent Extraordinary General Congress indicate that, for World Aquatics at least, better financial times are on the horizon.

With Summer Olympics, World Championships and short-course World Championships all slated for the same year, 2024 in particular should break records for the aquatics governing body, with $98 million (£80 million/€92 million) in total income and $36.75 million (£30 million/€34.5 million) in net profit currently budgeted.

Reserve funds are projected to exceed $125 million (£101.5 million/€118 million) by the 2024 year-end.

This helps to explain why World Aquatics is not allowing its surprisingly difficult 2022 to divert it from a substantial hike in development spending; this is budgeted to increase to $12.3 million (£10 million/€11.6 million) in 2024 from just $2.15 million (£1.75 million/€2 million) as recently as 2017.

One senior official calculates that over eight years, World Aquatics will have provided direct aid of $170 million (£138 million/€160 million) to National Federations and athletes - more, he believes, than any other International Federation bar the world football body FIFA.