I hope the PAP will stop engaging in half-truths and be upfront with citizens when it comes to Temasek. Every human being makes mistakes and it should not try to cover up those made by PAP elites, unless they are non human.
To survive in the investment game, you win more but will always lose some. However, the MSM has always painted a false picture of the “superior” performance of scholars and elites who have been parachuted into Temasek.
An example is ST article, “GIC eyes large minority stake in Irish telecoms group EIR: Reports”, which it briefly reported on Temasek’s purchase of a stake in Eir through Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) 6 years ago. link
However, that stake was wiped out in 2012 and this was stately clearly in the foreign press but not our government mouthpiece.
Foreign press: “Four years after Singapore’s ST Telemedia lost its 61% stake, sister fund GIC to buy 16% for Euro 230 million.” link
ST: “But STT exited its investment in 2012 after Eir’s senior lenders rejected it restructuring plan at the height of the euro debt crisis …”
ST should not try to throw smoke, cut short the long story – Temasek had invested Euro 140 million in 2010 and lost the entire investment in 2 years. ST should not play with words like “STT exited its investment” – don’t try to redefine a spade.
Temasek has other epic losses but it does not have epic gains to offset them. It’s claims of phenomenal returns are therefore suspect.
There are billion-dollar unrealised losses such as Standchart but where are the similar-sized investments to offset Standchart?
Standchart shares before the last rights issue
There are many so-so investments such as Intouch Holdings, formerly Shin Corp, which has been going nowhere for more than a decade.
Hello Intouch, you going somewhere or nowhere?
And there are really really bad investments which should have got off Temasek’s book years ago, eg Pakistani NIB Bank
NIB shares last traded at 1.66 Pakistani rupee which is equivalent to … 2 Singapore cents! (I rupee = 1.4 cents) Lelong nobody also want.
One of the blunders Temasek made when it almost owned the entire bank was the acquisition of PICIC asset management for Rs20.5 billion which it recently sold for Rs4.1 billion.
It is interesting to note that Temasek has appointed Singaporeans as directors on NIB’s board.
Perhaps this is what PM Lee meant by how foreigners create good jobs for Singaporeans. But a $1 billion investment to create a handful of jobs is clearly not right.
What about debt-laden Chinese banks trading below their book values? Were they not about to implode, necessitating 6 rate cuts since 2014?
Statistically, it is not possible for Temasek to have zero good investment. But after offsetting all the profitable ones with losers, it is impossible for the remaining companies to achieve Temasek’s return claims. Impossible.
And we can also see that most of the profits and dividends earned by Temasek are from local companies. Which means foreign ones have performed very badly.
The government should be transparent and not resort to half truths. Pock kai investments throw smoke for what? 😦