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Singapore’s Temasek reports portfolio value drop

SINGAPORE (AFP) – Singapore state investor Temasek said yesterday its net portfolio value fell 5.2 per cent in the last financial year due to volatility in global markets, and that it would be adopting a more cautious strategy.

The company, whose global footprint extends well beyond the city-state, said its net holdings in the year ending in March were at SGD382 billion (USD287 billion), down from a record high SGD403 billion in the previous year.

Its one-year total shareholder return came in at negative 5.07 per cent, weighed by higher interest rates resulting from tighter monetary policies to fight inflation.

Its three-year total shareholder return, however, stood at eight per cent, while its 10-year return was at six per cent and 20-year return at nine per cent.

“We maintain a cautious investment stance and expect to invest at a moderated pace this financial year, given the challenging macroeconomic environment,” said Temasek Chief Investment Officer Rohit Sipahimalani.

Temasek is ranked among the world’s top 10 investors, with stakes in companies like Singapore Airlines and the city-state’s biggest lender DBS Group.

PHOTO: ENVATO

The company is mainly anchored in Asia, which accounts for 63 per cent of its holdings, mostly in Singapore and China.

Its portfolio ranges from transportation to financial services, telecommunications, real estate and life sciences.

Yesterday, Temasek also defended not taking tougher action against the team responsible for a failed investment in collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

Temasek said in May it had slashed compensation for the team and senior management responsible for investing in FTX, which together with its sister trading house Alameda Research went bankrupt in November. FTX’s implosion dissolved a virtual trading business that at one point had been valued at USD32 billion, resulting in Temasek writing down its USD275 million investment and launching an internal review.

While the review found no misconduct, the investment team and senior management “took collective accountability and had their compensation reduced”, Temasek said at that time.

Temasek Chief Executive Dilhan Pillay said yesterday the action taken by the firm was enough.

“If we were to start to punish people beyond what we’ve done, who would want to be an investor?” he said.

“When you do invest, you take risks. You take calculated, calibrated risks, and as long as you’ve done the work required to make the investment, the committee approves it and it goes forward,” he added.

“FTX was, I would say, an aberration.”

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