The PAP government has engaged in propaganda since GIC’s inception to the extent that ordinary citizens and even MPs do not know its real performance.
After reading all GIC annual reports, I have discovered that they contain irrelevant information: its intent is clearly to obfuscate its performance. For example, GIC publishes it primary metric for evaluating its performance, ie its 20-year real rate of return in USD, which is really meaningless.
According to GIC (2016): “Over the 20-year period that ended 31 March 2016, the GIC Portfolio ….. This means that US$100 invested with GIC in 1996 would have grown to US$303 today.
Can GIC’s investment performance be evaluated based on decisions made 20 years ago?
By concealing recent performance-related information, no one knows if GIC is currently in deep shit. What we know is GIC had made a foolish decision on its biggest speculation in 2 banks in 2007 and 2008, ie UBS and Citigroup, and stakeholders are paying the price of its folly.
If GIC could make such a monumentally bad judgement, what about other smaller investments?
After global markets went into a tailspin during the GFC, many fund managers went bust or were forced to cut massive losses when markets were bottoming in 2009. How badly hit was GIC will not be known because it only needs to disclose a meaningless primary metric.
When other bigger funds, such as Norway’s GPFG has been totally transparent since inception, why does GIC continue to conceal material information from CPF members?
If a S$1 trillion fund could disclose a breakdown of management costs, 3-, 5- and 10-year performance, its return since inception as well as all material information which belongs in the public domain, why has GIC been unable to be equally transparent?
What do CPF members know about GIC from its annual report with regard to its investment performance? Almost nothing.
Do we know its performance since 2, 3 or even 4 years ago? No.
Do we know what are its returns in Singapore dollar since it is a Singaporean fund? No.
There are of course many questions which will never be answered by such a sneaky SWF which engages in propaganda to conceal its performance.
CPF members would do well to read up and understand what is really happening to our retirement savings. Rest assured, more tweaks to trap increasing amounts of CPF in GIC akan datang. 😦