If there are really no huge investment losses by GIC, PAP should not fear transparency.
For over a decade, GIC has continued to state “GIC manages well over US$100 billion”. What is the point of making such a self-insulting, irrelevant statement? Is it not akin to a company publishing its 2006 annual report today?
Fortunately, we have some reliable figures to work on but they are extremely worrying.
The most trusted source of information in this case would be from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute which even the ST has quoted from. Formed in 2007, the SWFI analyses sovereign wealth funds, pensions, public funds, etc and has a treasure trove of data on GIC. Any SWFI subscriber should know.
There are 2 compelling reasons to believe CPF members have suffered because of huge investment losses in GIC.
1. According to SWFI, GIC’s assets increased by only US$6 billion from June 2015 to June 2016 (table below).
But according to MAS, CPF invested in SSGS has increased by an average US$16 billion (S$22.5 billion) during the past 2 years (table below).
Even if GIC had nil returns during the period, its assets should have increased by at least US$16 billion due to the increase in CPF invested in SSGS. Instead, we have already established billions in paper loss before a financial crisis has started?
But of course one should not be too concerned about all these short-term paper losses. So let’s look at what’s been happening in the longer term.
2. According to the same institute, GIC had US$330 billion in assets in 2008.
In June this year, SWFI estimated GIC had US$350 billion in assets, an increase of US$20 billion.
During the same period, CPF funds invested in GIC increased by more than US$115 billion (S$141 bil to S$298 bil). How could this result in an increase of only US$20 billion after 7 years?
|Net change||US$20 bil???|
What about the returns on GIC’s investments and land sales revenue injected into GIC?
|Land sales||US$ 50 bil??|
All the figures are from SWFI and the institute is not another Singaporean blog but a respectable institute. The implication is clear: lots of CPF investments have gone bust.
PAP should be upfront with CPF members and not give us the cock and bull story about speculators attacking our currency during times of volatility to avoid transparency. No speculator would attack the Singapore dollar unless something is fundamentally wrong, ie mismanagement or huge losses being concealed.
CPF members deserve a clarification.