No reason for PAP to fear transparency unless GIC is concealing massive investment losses

I refer to Bloomberg article “$1 Trillion Fund Committed to U.K. No Matter What Brexit Outcome“.

It was reported that Government Pension Fund Global, Norway’s SWF, made a record investment return last year.  Its funds are managed by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM)

On a scale of 1 to 10 for transparency, NBIM scores a perfect 10.

But unlike NBIM, Singapore’s SWF GIC does not believe one bit in transparency.  Instead, Singaporeans – especially CPF members – are expected to believe blindly in GIC’s published figures.

The stark contrast in transparency between NBIM and GIC should worry many Singaporeans:

1. Absolute and percentage yearly return
NBIM: Made record US$131 billion/13.7% return in 2017, figures disclosed for all years.
GIC:  Absolute and percentage returns not disclosed for every year.

2. Portfolio breakdown
NBIM: 66.6% stocks, 30.8% bonds and 2.6% real estate.
GIC: Similar breakdown but conceals cash position with bonds under “Nominal Bonds and Cash”.
1gic3. Detailed facts
NBIM
:
1gic1
GIC: Undisclosed.

4. Value of individual investments
NBIM: Individual values of more than 9000 investments published in report. (link)
1gic2GIC: None.  (PAP says currency speculators may launch attack on the Singapore dollar.)

5  Size of fund
NBIM: Current market value of 8132 billion kroner/US$1033 billion. (8488 billion kroner at 31 Dec 2017)
1gic3GIC:  No market value, value also not disclosed in annual reportSWFI guesstimate at US$359 billion strongly suggests something amiss.

6  Top management
NBIM: Executives employed based on relevant work experience.
GIC: Employment based on academic performance and executives are mostly scholars, former civil servants/military personnel.  Two executives with military background are Tay Lim Hock and former President’s Scholar Goh Kok Huat.  Lim Kee Chong is another scholar.

7  Management costs
NBIM: Full disclosure (page 72).
GIC: Pai-seh cannot tell.

8  Income statement
NBIM: Annual report (page 80).
1gic4GIC: State secret.

9   Ten largest bonds and equities
NBIM: Published (page 110)1gic5GIC:  Undisclosed

10  Breakdown of management fees
NBIM: Published in annual report, page 125.1gic6
GIC: Another state secret.

11  Remuneration of senior management
NBIM: Full disclosure.
1gic7GIC:  Taxpayers don’t deserve to know.

Isn’t it strange that  a fund more than 2 times larger than GIC could be totally transparent but GIC needs to operate in secrecy?

PAP should not take Singaporeans for fools: transparency will not doom Singapore.

On the other hand, transparency will greatly benefit Singaporeans – especially CPF members.  Transparency will allow overpaid but underperforming GIC senior management executives appointed by PAP to be held accountable.

PAP should bear in mind that S$360 billion of GIC’s funds belong to CPF members, not Ah Kong’s money.

It is wrong to shield GIC’s management of hundreds of billions in CPF and state reserves from public scrutiny.

If PAP is not concealing massive investment losses, why fear transparency?

 

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13 Responses to No reason for PAP to fear transparency unless GIC is concealing massive investment losses

  1. Confused says:

    Goodness me, you may think that the CEO is getting about 6.7 million kroner, it’s only about 1 million SGD.

    Going by that, isn’t it what we purportedly paid 100 million to CEO of Temasek out of this world?

  2. Sinkie says:

    It’s a culture thing….

    Scandinavian countries, especially Norway & Sweden, have utmost demand for egalitarianism & transparency to ensure that it is so.

    Hence, their top earners don’t earn so much compared to the bottom earners & have the lowest Gini coefficients and Wage ratios in the world.

    • Confused says:

      Are the Swiss the same or different?

      If the the swiss are not, Was it why we were promised by Lau Goh Swiss standard but not Norway’s ?

      If the Swiss are, then we are really being shortchanged?

  3. Dr. Chan says:

    Next GE is ‘do or die’ time for Singapore. We need a a change of government to open up the books. I am quite sure we will find what we always expected – PAP’s dirty dealings.
    Currently, as a PR of USA/Canada, I can’t wait to cast my overseas vote for the opposition.
    Hope to see, one day, all the corrupt PAP gang members answer to the people, get convicted and locked up.

    • Phillip Ang says:

      Actually it’s common sense that governments do not conceal information for the sake of concealing. 😉 I believe many citizens suspect there are underlying issues with state finance but the overpowering fear of questioning our servants has resulted in an eerie silence.
      Unfortunately, it’s only when more Singaporeans are affected by flawed policies that they will begin to reflect and vote against PAP.
      How the corrupt are punished will be decided by Karma and rest assured, no wrongdoing will escape the ‘accountant’. 🙂

      • goh hock says:

        There is no concealing of information relevant to citizens as they disclose audited returns, total value of net assets and some investments.

    • goh hock says:

      Very interesting – please enlighten me real PAP’s dirty dealings so far! I haven’t heard of any the last 52 yrs!

  4. goh hock says:

    Temasek Fund was started in 1974 and GIC in 1985. They are audited and they only need to report the returns, total value of funds and some of the investments like most reputable fund managers!

  5. ttsden says:

    Sir,
    In the first place and on principle , should Ho Ching being PM’s wife be holding public office? Besides being paid secret multi millions.
    This does not occur in any developed country, except in Zimbabwe.
    So why we so like that ?
    On other issue of increased cost of property Stamp duty and Electricity and water and coming. GST ,
    Are these to help plug big holes in Temasek accounts?

    • Phillip Ang says:

      My name is Phillip. Spouses and children of politicians should not hold public office. But strange things do happen in an opaque single party government, unchecked by citizens for decades. Common sense tells us that something is seriously amiss with government finance but this will only come to light when PAP goes the way of Malaysia’s BN.

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