The Online Citizen

Temasek – Murky figures and unanswered questions

July 29
22:56 2009

Latest:
“We look at this speculation sometimes with irritation and sometimes with amusement because all of it is very far away from the truth, including those sources who claimed to be familiar with the situation.” – Temasek CEO Ho Ching on Charles Goodyear’s departure. (Straits Times)

Leong Sze Hian

In May this year, the Straits Times carried the following headlines on its front page:

Straits Times, Front Page, 29 May 2009

In Parliament in May, “The minister said Temasek’s $58 billion fall in value came after a ‘much greater gain’ of $114 billion over the preceding five years. ‘Even after taking into account the recent sharp decline, Temasek’s portfolio had still grown by $56 billion over the course of the cycle,’ he told the House” (“Temasek made big gains”, ST, May 28).

Now, we’re told Temasek Holdings has lost S$40 billion. (“Portfolio down $40b”, ST Breaking News, Jul 29).

So, does it mean that with the latest information available today, what took five years to accumulate ($114 billion from March 2003 to March 2008),  has  been lost  -  $58 billion  from  March  2008 to November 2008  and  at  least  $40 billion from  January 2009  to  March 2009 (over a total of just 11 months, excluding December 2008 for which we have no information) ?

This begs the question – when the Finance Minister gave the figure of a net gain of $56 billion in Parliament on May 27, did he know that at least $40 billion had already been lost from January to March this year – almost two months before his reply in Parliament?

The latest Straits Times report (29 July 09) says:

“Singapore state investor Temasek said its portfolio slid by at least $40 billion, or more than a fifth, in the year to March …  Ms Ho (CEO Ho Ching) did not give the exact portfolio level as of March 2009″.

Murky figures

Straits Times Online, 19 June 2009

I find it somewhat strange if not rather amusing to hear that we lost at least $40 billion. What does “at least $40 billion” mean? $41 billion,  $49 billion, or more? Why not tell Singaporeans the exact figure? And of course, without the exact portfolio level as of March 2009, we can’t even try to make any meaningful estimate, as we don’t have the figure for December last year. Since the “at least $40 billion” is “in the year to March”, we need the December 2008 figure. Why is it that we can be told the November 2008 figure, but not the December figure?

And what does “more than a fifth” mean? More than a fifth of what figure? We can’t tell much without knowing the relevant numbers.

Isn’t  Temasek’s losses, returns and portfolio values, like a never-ending jigsaw puzzle?

In the Wall Street Journal article, “Temasek recoups some losses” (Jul 29), it reported:

“We are certainly not happy with the negative wealth added in March last year as well as March this year,” Ms Ho said… However, the figures show that Temasek has recouped some of the initial losses made at the height of the financial crisis as global markets begin to rally on hopes that the worst of the downturn has passed.

Since the global equity markets have risen by about 50 per cent since 9 March 2009 (MSCI World Index), and “the figures show that Temasek has recouped some of the initial losses made at the height of the financial crisis”, why not tell us the losses to-date this year (June/July 2009), which surely must be much better than the “at least $40 billion” loss until March?

I hate to say this but not telling us more now will only make Singaporeans even more unhappy by not giving us the better figure now, compared to March.

I cannot understand the rationale for this . “We are certainly not happy” may be an understatement which is perhaps self-inflicted, with Singaporeans perhaps being subjected to more unhappiness than necessary.

Perks “deferred”?

As if to convince us that they would share the unhappiness of Singaporeans, “Ms. Ho said the bulk of incentives to senior management has been deferred by three to 12 years”. What exactly does this mean – no bonus, salary increments, performance incentives, etc, for years? Or just that they will still get them, only later (deferred)? What incentive is there for them to try to recoup the losses, if most incentives are deferred? What is “the bulk”? 51 per cent or 90 per cent?

I think it is probably about the best time now to disclose the remuneration and incentive packages for senior management. Otherwise, it may just fuel even more speculation and displeasure as to how people are being rewarded or penalised for losing so much of our reserves.

Exuberant confidence on hindsight

In her speech at the Institute of Policy Studies, Ms Ho said:

“In our Temasek Review last year, we reported an annual value-at-risk of almost $40 billion last March. This meant a 16 per cent probability for our portfolio value to drop more than $40 billion by March this year. Indeed, it has turned out to be so, and more.”

This sounds like exuberant confidence on hindsight – that we predicted and knew the risks.

In this context, given what has happend in this financial crisis, I think no financial institution CEO would have the gall to talk in such a manner about the veracity of its risk analysis model. Almost everyone may agree that with the near-death or collapse of some of the largest financial institutions in the world, nobody is boasting about their risk models, which have been shown to be almost useless as a predictive tool. I can’t help but feel that we may be the laughing stock of the world with such statements.

So, what are the probabilities and time frames for recouping the losses?

After Temasek said last week that Charles ‘Chip’ Goodyear will not become CEO due to differences over strategy”, there have been all kinds of speculation as to what these “differences over strategy” are. Nobody knows, but I can try to fathom a guess for one possible difference. If you are the new CEO and even you had difficulty figuring out the losses and returns, how would you ever be able to face Singaporeans, the world, and how would history judge you?

In the report, “Temasek to hang on to ‘family jewels’, allow public to invest” (Bloomberg, Jul 29), it says that:

“Temasek would consider over the long term creating one more group of stakeholders, and may invite the public to “co-invest” with the company. Ho said. It may seek “sophisticated investors” in five to eight years and retail investors in the next eight to 10 years, she added. “It is important to test this over at least one market cycle during the next five to eight years,” she said. “If this pilot is successful, we may then consider a co-investment platform for retail investors in perhaps eight to 10 years’ time”.

After all that has happened, I think the least that Temasek should do is to share its expertise and future returns with Singaporeans, instead of making us wait for up to 10 years, by allowing “sophisticated investors” to co-invest first.

Why does it take up to 10 years to test whether a simple concept like allowing others to co-invest can work?

It may be somewhat akin to adding insult to injury.

—-

Read also: Temasek losses: Enough is enough by Leong Sze Hian.

And: In a culture of secrecy, no courage is required by Ravi Philemon.

—–

  • Panache

    I believe the $56b gain quoted is over the six preceding years, i.e. Mar 2003 to Mar 2009. It also assumes that they lost $58b (back then).

    With the latest figures, I think their performance reads something like this:
    2003-2008: Gain $114b
    2009: Lose $40b

    So TM gained $74b over last 6 years now?

  • XIIIblackcat

    Fearing a public backslash from all the failed investment, Ho Ching decided to ‘stepdown’ and let Goodyear succeed her.

    Temasek than tried to protect Ho Ching by arguing that although it loses money during the financial crisis, it stills makes a net profit when compared against a 5 year time period leading to the financial crisis. $114b gained and $56b lost = $58b net profit.

    When it came to light that Temasek sold it’s stock too early before the financial rebounce, Temasek argues that it is trying to diversify it’s portfolio.

    Now when the financial woes is gone, Goodyear is no longer needed and is kicked out of Temasek. With Ho Ching expecting to claim credit from any “investment” made during the month of April onwards.

    This episode of disclosing the lost from the year leading to March is definitely seen as a way to discredit Goodyear. It is without any doubt that the next report by Temasek would be a profit but only this time it will be Ho Ching who will be gaining all the credit.

    The board of directors in Temasek definitely have a better career running Hollywood than a State Investment bank. All the tale-spinning and lies conjured in Temasek is better use to produce a Hollywood blockbuster. We need less clowns in Temasek.

  • theforgottongeneration

    After the “unresolved strategic differences” statement/reason over Mr Goodyear, I won’t read too much into any statement on TH henceforth. What was that phrase:
    “If you can win them, just confuse them”?

    Chips parted on “…mutual & amicable terms….respect his professionalism and integrity…blah, blah” –> meaning pls don’t disclose actual reasons for leaving to the public?

  • XIIIblackcat

    Panache.
    Think the figures will run something like this.

    November 2003- November 2008: Gain $114 – $56 = $58b
    January 2009 – March 2009 : Lost $40b

    However bear in mind that the figures for December 2008 and April 2009 onwards is still not disclose.

    So it is probable that Temasek had totally lost what it had gained during the past 5 years preceeding the financial crisis.

  • Panache

    Fact: Whenever a CEO is fired, it is always on ‘mutual and amicable terms’ :p

    That statement means nothing.

  • mice is nice

    if TSK go no money left still can sell the office space to recovery some money?

    difference in strategy?
    of course, richman & poorman got different strategy.

    ““Temasek would consider over the long term creating one more group of stakeholders, and may invite the public to “co-invest” with the company.”

    will this new group’s interest overshadow the current group? leading to big fish eat small fish?

  • Panache

    This is a link to the speech on the TH website:

    http://www.temasekholdings.com.sg/media_centre_news_speeches_290709.htm

    Apparently the $40b loss figure was simply their risk projection in Mar 2008. It turned out that they lost more than that (perhaps $58b). That is all Ho Ching meant. She did not say anything to the effect that the actual loss is $40b. Please get the facts clear.

  • lee fu yew

    Mr Leong brought to attention an interesting thing about published figures.
    It is useful to have a consistent way of bench marking performance.

    why use last 5 years?
    why not 5.5 years or last 6?

    so gain when compared to last 5 years?

    so, what happens if compared to just last year?

    why not wait longer then compare ,e.g wait for 5 more years later then compare with the recent huge losses?

    see my point?

    why not wait 20 years and then add all 20 years gains with gains or loss since the founding of these companies?

    For purpose of illustration, scenario A below is based on a fictitious company called Thio & Wong :
    2008 june : revenue -20 million
    2008 july : rev -10 million
    2009 june : rev 1 million

    based on my layman knowledge of financial performance reporting,
    if we compare july 2008 with previous month of june 2008, the ‘growth’ in july is 100% although there is actually a loss of -10million, am i right? if not someone feel free to correct me. likewise, based on same assumption, june 2009 YEAR-on-YEAR comparison with june 2008, the ‘growth’ is 21 million?

  • famiLee jewels

    Of course Ho Ching has to hang on to the famiLEE jewels…..if you know what I mean…..LOL
    It is the lesser mortals who will eventuall have to sell their family jewels to cover the losses.

    Anyway, I don’t see why HC should wait 5 to 8 years or 8 to 10 years to seek sophisticated investors. In fact she can start by inviting G Soros, Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers, Paul Krugman, Li Ka Shing, etc to park some billions with Temasek. In turn these financial celebrities will give max confidence to lesser mortals like us. Even the Burmese junta, Mugabe, Kim will increase their deposit in Singapore.

  • albine of the humus pinkelitus

    the losses, gains or whatever, are these audited by absolute independent auditors or ????

    i mean i not sure can or not? so i asking. can or not? no can can? can no no?

  • mice is nice

    what’s with the,…

    “Indeed, it had turned out to be so, and more.”

    point #8.

  • Panache

    To mice:

    Yep, she definitely meant much more than $40b. Mar 2009 was the absolute bottom for world stock markets so any figures released would look REALLY bad. I bet they wish they could move the financial year to June :p

    Anyway, what’s the point of these Temasek Reviews if they don’t publish hard data? Is this what they call transparency? I am so impressed.

  • mice is nice

    hi Panache,

    now that the negativity surrounding Temasek, i wonder how will foreign firms view it. jinxed? :P

    if they move the financial year to june, Goodyear will have more beans to spill…

    hard data? not for this famiLee, we are Asian, blood is thicker than water. different family demand transparency? wait long long also don’t have…

  • anonymous

    kudos to you, mr leong!
    by pointing out all these double-speak of the govt, u are raising awareness of fellow singaporeans and making a difference.

    if we don’t make a big change in the next election, we will be totally done for.
    pap will have no hesistation in replacing everyone with ft, raising gst & hdb price, cutting healthcare, education etc because it will be proven that they can do anything they want and we will accept it.

  • Aberdyn

    Temasek Holdings lost more than 40 billion Singapore dollars, according to the state investment firm’s chief executive. These money belongs to the state coffer, and dissapeared overnight. Why TH was so reckless until so much amount of money been lost in their foreign investment ventures ?

    Read the articles:

    Agence France-Presse – 7/29/2009 10:58 AM GMT

    Temasek portfolio shed 27 bln US dlrs in year: executive
    Temasek Holdings’ portfolio lost more than 40 billion Singapore dollars (27.72 billion US) in value as of end-March from a year before, the state investment firm’s chief executive said Wednesday.

    Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said the company anticipated the drop in a review last year.

    “Indeed, it had turned out to be so and more,” Ho told a forum organised by the Institute of Policy Studies think-tank.

    Temasek’s investments were hammered by the financial and economic crisis that led global markets to plummet in the second half of last year.

    Singapore said earlier this year that Temasek’s overall portfolio value had fallen by 58 billion dollars to 127 billion dollars from end-March to November of 2008.

    “The Temasek journey will not always be smooth. As we sail in choppy waters, we may need to take shelter if we see dark clouds coming,” Ho said.

    She added that the search for her successor was going ahead after the “unfortunate” scrapping of a plan to appoint US businessman Charles “Chip” Goodyear.

    The former head of resources giant BHP Billiton would have been the first foreigner to run the once-secretive sovereign wealth fund and his appointment just a few months ago was hailed as part of an effort to transform Temasek into a global enterprise.

    “It is unfortunate that both the board and Chip recently came to the amicable and mutual conclusion that it was best not to proceed with the CEO transition,” Ho told the forum.

    “This does not mean however that we should stop this discipline of succession review. We will continue to do so regardless of who takes the helm as CEO at Temasek.”

    The investment firm said its decision to rescind Goodyear’s appointment was due to differences over strategy.

    When asked to elaborate on Wednesday, Ho said: “We continue to hold Chip in very high regard for his professionalism and his integrity so all those little funny rumours you hear of his management style, and all that, you can disregard.”

    The firm has said it remains a long-term investor and remains focussed on Asian investments due to the region’s strong growth prospects.

    Ho, 56, said that Temasek will invest 70 percent of its resources in Asia, including Singapore, with 20 percent earmarked for investments in industrialised countries.

    The rest will be used for markets in Latin America and Africa, she added.

    “We remain very comfortable with Asia,” said Ho, who will stay on as CEO of Temasek, which manages a global portfolio invested in a wide range of sectors from airlines to energy, resources and consumer products.

    “Growth will not be a straight line trajectory. We can expect bumps along the way, but the longer term potential remains strong. As Asia continues on its development curve, it will also de-risk.”

  • prettyplace

    Poor ICPAS…Accounting Body that is…kena take over by PAP govt…
    Now accounting rules for normal companies are different from TSK…..usually we stress on 1 accounting period….but …where is the rule….own PAP govt rule…

    yet to read the full articles and disclosures made ..but I like the part where the public is asked to invest….hehehe…the only reason I can think of is TSK is POK…money no enough….

    It is becoming apparent why Chip left…no money for him to buy chips in the financial casino…what use would he serve…thus…he took the best option..

  • papies

    with the ongoing bull run, what if TH redeemed themselves by making up for the loses? will they be forgiven?

  • Hahaha

    Based on AFP article quoted by 15) Aberdyn on July 30th, 2009 12.35 am:
    Agence France-Presse – 7/29/2009 10:58 AM GMT
    Temasek portfolio shed 27 bln US dlrs in year: executive
    Temasek Holdings’ portfolio lost more than 40 billion Singapore dollars (27.72 billion US) in value as of end-March from a year before,

    The “as of end-March from a year before” means from 1st-Apr-2008 to 31st-Mar-2009, TH lost SGD 40 billion.

    I am confused by the numbers. Here’s my 2 cents interpretation:

    1st-Apr-2003 to 31st-March-2008 Gain SGD 114 billion

    1st-Apr-2008 to 30th-Nov-2008 Lost SGD 58 billion
    1st-Dec-2008 to 31st-March-2008 Gain SGD 18 billion (thus nett lost from 1st-Apr-2008 to 31st-March-2009 is SGD 40 billion)

    The articles didn’t say what contributed to the lost (rumoured to be ill-timed investments in American banks) and what contributed to the gains (more transfers from CPF?).

  • mice is nice

    so the novel attempt to court investors can be interpreted as financial gain?

    wow…

  • prettyplace

    I doubt institutional or rather sophisticated investors would want to come and play with TSK…..what for….

    If I am a player…I would prefer losing the money myself..then playing with a loser or worst…not knowing if I am truly winning or losing ..
    ..(i am really laughing silly at this stage)
    then when I want to take my money out..they say it is in CPF LIFE….you can only get some and the rest in monthly payouts…LOL….

  • prettyplace

    on a serious note….I would not want to speculate about the lost….however, TSK seriously has lost alot of Singaporeans money….

    Those who are buying new HDB Flats…paying for new CEO’s…..then obviously taxes which we all pay, in all forms…is what TSK is playing with…..

    Our reserves…are important….it holds the strength of our SING Dollar…..if dealt with wrongly …..can crash the hell out of us…

    our house values…our investments…our CPF….imagine a scenario..where the SING Dollar is like the Ringgit or worst like the Indon Rupiah overnight….

    …..then people we can forget about our holidays….and paying for children studying overseas….all the insurance saved over the years…..and much more….

    Trust me all this is possible….it happened in 1997….some of my friends couldn’t come back to school to study again….(I was in Australia)

    Now, from what I have stated.(nobody can dispute me on this)..I hope you people out there know the gravity of the situation…..Thus, I urge you to make sound decisions while casting your future VOTE and not take things lightly.

    This is a serious issue and I honestly I don’t give 2 flying f**k about the No 1 family…except my family which needs to eat as well.

  • very hsien

    with their kind of track record, which sophisticated investors dare to part their money with them?

    even the stupiest investors will think twice.

  • mice is nice

    surely they trust their own FamiLee members with their money? no?

    ^.^

  • curious

    the emphasis should be on…co-investors. that’s an interesting development to the “family jewel”.

  • http://houganger.blogspot.com/ Lee Chee Wai

    Without any reasonable levels of transparency, those numbers mean nothing. What is Temasek’s current portfolio worth (and at what time)? Do people even know?

    Because if you assume what they say is true, then $114b + $56b – $40b gives us at least $130b (with the highly improbable scenario of having zero assets 5-6 years ago). According to wikipedia (am unsure of the reliability), it had $185b in 2008 and was founded in 1975. So, does it mean somehow the bulk of the money was gained in the last 5-6 years?

    Anyway, like I said … without transparency, all I can do is simply get confused and annoyed at any figures released.

  • pissed off

    It is galling.

    To allow Singaporeans to coinvest – the cheek of Ms Ho.

    She is saying that finally Temasek holdings is not the property of the retail Singaporeans.

    They are an orgainsation into itself – it does not belong to the people of Singapore and they can do what they want and we Singaporeans can do nothing about it.

    It makes me mad.

    All the senior management are just leeches and parasites that depends on Temasek Holdings to give them their bonuses over the last 40 years, and Singaporeans will not see a cent trickle back in any form – the old can go retire in JB / have your own medisheild – etc etc

  • bull shit

    I am seeing a lot of bull shit from her statement – Chip goodyear left –

    1) either management can’t stand him,

    or

    2) Chip can;t stand seeing what’s coming next, and next and next.

    http://www.ibtimes.com.au/articles/20090728/australand-big-property-losses-star-flowing.htm

  • aiyoyo

    aiyoyo

    think elites use simple tactic

    “cant convince, confuse the audience”

    sad story

    aiyoyo

  • dumb investor

    Die lah….does it means that TH has got no $$$ left and now have to ask $$$ from outside.

  • GOON_DOO

    by right FIGURES are very straight forward, but from the mouth of HC, so confusing!

  • corporate_secrets_are_not_state_secrets

    “Sophisticated investors” like detail and to fully evaluate the performance and background of the management to know what they are getting into. Secrecy and non-disclosure is a big warning bell for investors.

    Are these investors who get into bed with TSK going to have more information that the Singaporean citizens?

  • ST_fan

    >>Even the Burmese junta, Mugabe, Kim will increase their deposit in Singapore.
    i thought there’s already a look-a-like Kim in THL…

  • absobloodyluteyconfused

    Mark Twain wrote ” Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.’ ”

    This quote seemed appropriate here…………….

  • ho kan seng

    #27 bull shit :
    “…2) Chip can;t stand seeing what’s coming next, and next and next….”

    i am sure Chip did not see any tsunami coming ?
    I hope so. i trust so. but
    lets brace ourselves.

  • SotongBall

    Whatever the play with numbers or the murky answers; it does not change the fact that TH lost a lot of public money. Personally I felt that the change of CEO amidst the public “uproar” was the right and wise move. Now the sudden and frivilous change back to the questionable old CEO creates even more doubts and questions on the capability of the TH BOD or the Government. I felt that all the Government’s effort to build up to a near term election has now been set back again because of this decision.

  • http://business.smh.com.au/business/lumbered-with-the-bosss-wife-20090729-e1oc.html?page=-1 corporate_secrets_are_not_state_secrets

    Lumbered with the boss’s wife
    Eric Ellis
    TheAge Online July 30, 2009

    http://business.smh.com.au/business/lumbered-with-the-bosss-wife-20090729-e1oc.html?page=-1

    ” SINGAPOREANS aren’t usually given to open criticism of the Lee family that has ruled them for half a century. Rightly or wrongly, some presume that in their tightly controlled island state, walls have ears, and one never knows who is listening.

    But this time it’s different. Singaporeans are deeply displeased with their Prime Minister’s wife, Ho Ching. She has run Temasek Holdings, the state-owned fund, since 2002, and has presided over a spectacular series of misjudgments that have lost Singaporeans billions.”

  • Fishball

    The Auidtor General could dig up so many waste & unnecessary spending from several government agencies.

    If A-G can do their work on TH and publish their findings, the whole country will go wow wow wow !

  • Fishball

    It’s inevitable there will be losses in investment, TH should come clean with their accounts. Then we could probably move on but do not forget the lesson.

  • Plumber

    It means the loss has been reduced from 58 billion to 40 billion since one year ago?

  • Crap

    Mr Leong,

    I think Temasek said it lost S$40 billion between April 2008 and March 2009……not from January -March 2009.

    That said, the public is being provided half-truths here and there. If Temasek has nothing to hide, it should FULLY reveal its performance to the public. Is there a need to wait till the audit of its accounts are over??? That to me is just a red herring.

  • Crystaliine

    I always like to get to fundamentals to stay focus on the real issue. ….. And the real issue is:

    ‘Why did we have to suffer such great losses, when there were fund managers who made good returns by knowing what to buy, when to by, and when to get out?’

    It is very hard to stomach the losses because we pay premium for the leaders we have; someone said the highest in the universe.

    Temesek bought the wrong stocks and at the wrong time. Then making matters worse, sold them at the lowest point of the market. Where is the foresight and analysis that we paid for? Where’s the “scholarlistic capabilities” when the tire hits the road? What happened to HAIR and CAR qualities???

    Look at the sovereign wealth funds of the mid east. They don’t have the “top calibre scholars” like us but fared soooooooooo much better.

    Dear fellow citizens, don’t you all realise that there are things seriously very wrong with our system? Can we still have faith in our leaders and the policies and systems that come out form them?

    We lose billions at a go, and $40b is a very conservative estimate. What do they mean by at least??? My guess is $40b is probably 20% or 30% of the total losses.

    Can you envision what $1b can do for improving healthcare in Singapore? Can you envison what another $1b can do for public welfare? Look at the miserable amount of funding the public receives in the various forms – a few millions here and there. Contrast this with the massive losses………………………………..

    So how can such situations be avoided in the future???
    How can wealth be chanelled for the betterment of the people than be evaporated into thin air???
    How can we stop spending our time recovering lost wealth and move on to create real wealth for the people???

  • Panache

    My explanation for the current property boom in Singapore:

    Smart Singaporeans trying to spend all their hard-earn CPF money before TH loses all of it :D

  • Dumb and dumber

    17) papies on July 30th, 2009 12.53 am

    with the ongoing bull run, what if TH redeemed themselves by making up for the loses? will they be forgiven?
    >> You must have liquidity to redeem yourself. When you got “burned”, the money is gone. Unless you have hugh reserve of “liquidity”/cash, or there is a cash flow injection; otherwise, you can only stare at the bull run…

    Nonetheless, $58 billion is one-third of TSK…. how many companies hold more than 30% in liquidity? I bet the other 60% is tied up somewhere; either in asset, companies like SIA, SingTel, etc. Do you think TSK can liquidate these companies to invest again?

    My speculation is that TSK took the plunge into the US banking sector; got burnt; and they are in cash flow problem now. That’s why CPF Life is being put forward to stop more money from going out from TSK (which is in a pretty “bad” state I guess); and they are pondering the idea of getting external investors to sustain the company – but they will have an issue of transparency and accountability to contend with if they required external cash flow injection.

    Lastly, with reference to the link provided by 27) bull shit; some of these companies owned by TSK continues to lose money…. – another 0.25b gone alone by Australand Property Group.

    You can do the math yourself… Redeem…. yeah…. sell SIA, SingTel, etc and take another shot… no thanks.

    Reference: http://www.ibtimes.com.au/articles/20090728/australand-big-property-losses-star-flowing.htm

    The flow of red ink through the Australian property sector has started with a multi-million dollar loss and big capital raising from the Singapore Government-controlled company, Australand Property Group.

    It will be the first of a long line of poor results from the sector, which many investors hope will clear the slate for a better year ahead.

    Australand reported a quarter of a billion dollar first half loss and lifted its fund raising in the past 10 months to well over $900 million.

    Australand is the rump of the old Hooker Corp empire; it’s 60% owned by Temasek Holdings,one of the two investment arms of the Singapore Government, through Capitaland, a Singaporean developer (and the biggest in Southeast Asia) that’s in turn 40% owned by Temasek.

    Temasek has a poor investment record here in Australia: one of its biggest failures was in ABC Learning where it lost well over $400 in the collapse late last year.

    Australand is the first property group to report for the half year or 12 months to June 30 and its big loss won’t be the last. The red ink was expected as it revealed write-downs a fortnight ago in a market update, but the size of the capital raising was certainly a surprise.

  • yu LEE bu qing

    hey once again Singaporeans love to make noise. we pay mm 3++ million, pm 3++ million and ministers 1.8+++ mill. they are the best and highest paid govt in the world managing a country with one of the world’s smallest GDP. so what if we lost billions. that billions dollars is PEANUTS to the LEEs and GOHs.

  • granite

    not “we pay” one! it’s “we are forced to pay” that much.

  • yu lee bu qing

    we just lost 50 percent of our GDP in the stock market. see la see la ..anyhow invest. singapore is indeed an amateur when it comes to investing. i think we need warren buffett to help us invest.

  • aiyoyo

    aiyoyo

    keep thinking,

    when GAIN, do commoners got to share the $?

    when LOSS, commoners sure go to share the $ loss…

    why 1-way street???

    aiyoyo

  • lactobacillus

    I seriously think that TH’s risk management is faulted. Look at how much we had to lose (almost 70%) before cut loss process is executed. No fund manager in the world will allow such loss before readjusting their holding. When they are willing to re-balance their holding, they go and sell it at the lowest point. With such high compensation package to the people in TH, they are investing like a retail investor.

  • shibuyume

    case in point: bush took the social security funds to finance the stupid wars. it brought the system to the ground, and no more SS payouts.

    case in point: HC took “magik money” to finance her big bet. it brought????

    where does the money come from? please don’t tell me its magik. now we are told that temasek’s magik money is their own, and now they want more “public money”. oh really, since when is taking public money becoming private? isn’t it “washing”?

    all these taking place under our noses too.

    we just can’t finance this sinking ship any further. they must be torn apart, rebuilt and make transparent. there is never too big to fail.

    and as a sidenote, those billions that they have lost could have been used for Singaporeans, and i mean those born and bred here. there is no shame in helping our fellow kind, it’s not being xenophobic, it’s called patriotism and pride, something that our gahmen has tried to teach us, but led us totally in another direction (by making ang mohs the best and by making cheap FTs the best)

  • Yamamoto Taicho

    17) papies

    The probability of that is so low…let’s say if you go to a black jack table and sustained losses….and u keep telling yourself you will earn it back the next time….and by the time you realise your mistake, you would have walked smack into a wall

    if TSK continues their current mentality with such a leadership, the blackjack case will be similar to their future

  • http://kelvintan73.livejournal.com Kelvin Tan

    Well at least we are better than North Korea, they will probably say,

    “I run my investment firm how I run my investment firm. You want to investigate me, roll the dice and take your chances. I eat breakfast three hundred yards away from four thousand Cubans who are trained to kill me. So don’t think for one second that you can come down here, flash a badge and make me nervous.

    or

    “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

  • Yamamoto Taicho

    Oh, and the CPF life conspiracy is quite….i will say….suspicious….for the past, how many attempts has been done to delay CPF payment or implement such scheme that benefits them solely…

    The Singapore system is just like an electronic circuit…the dear gahmen been the whole circuit and the poor people been the battery that is been discharged until point zero

  • mad93

    Near $100 Billion dollar losses? Correct me.

  • kingfisher

    Coinvest? She means take our money and lose some more from her incompetence? And then hide the fact from us? haha..

    Good try..lol

  • Yang

    I think she lost touch on how much is lost. Just any old how give a figure. She thought all s’porean got no brain. Try to figure a way out of this mess. Frankly speaking, our PM should be the one to come out to explain why this kind losses. He is still young and inexperience to handle all this problem. So, all brothers and sisters, vote them out. Show them the true colour of votes.

  • cram
  • blackfeline

    i hope she sleeps well every nite!

  • prettyplace

    #57 blackfeline…why wouldn’t she…its not her money…just treat it like paper…and get her salary…..and all the red carpet treatment…hehehe…but i am not sure if she gets nightmares….from

    The curse of the first wife.

  • kf

    This whole development is really makng me uncomfortable. In the first place, whoever (individual or team) has lost the right to decide the next course of action given their incompetency in managing funds. Allowing Goodyear to leave is like saying : Hey I may have lost 58b, but with your strategy, we are going to lose more than that….. really??!
    The latest news is even asking investors to do co-investments. Then of course, they expect these people to share their strategy (new or old), which posted a huge negative financial anyway, and share the risks. Even an investor who posted a small positive return commands higher value than this board. You only need to take 58b/(no. of days in a year) to figure out hhow much is lost per day, and what each day’s loss means to even a rich citizen.

  • Temasek run by 4 wives

    @ 57) + 58)

    PM Lee should have 4 wives instead of just HC. Imagine dividing Temasek equally amongst his 4 wives. Chances are one in the famiLee will get it right.

  • Crap

    Temasek lost S$40 billion……and S’poreans got squeezed by new policies such as MEANs Testing at hospital !!!!!

    What a great nation!!

  • X.X!!!

    hahaha,, now how…?? lose so much $$, and how to account for? somemore NOT ONCE LEH!

    i tell u guys….

    confirm 100% got bit*h fight at the LEE mansion abt who’s gona be responsible for this load of crap.

    summore, TH and HC were exposed by the Sydney Morning Herald. HAHHAHAHAHA,

    Merry Christmas to you.. in advance.

  • mice is nice

    potential (prime candidates!!) co-investors…

    1) PM Lee, hushand, cannot siam. must trust wifey, somemore she is meritocratically chosen to head Temasek. how can wife do any wrong? she got merit & is bonded by close realtionship!!

    2) MM Lee, “i must trust my son’s judgement. he manages S’pore, he is no small fry. surely he got good judgement?! he cannot be wrong, he suceeded me to be PM”

    afterall, S’poreans are told to trust the leadership, so its time to lead by example. besides, full disclosure can be done during family dinner (dun need to print wan lah). hahaa…

  • http://www.KopitiamApek.com KopitiamApek

    61) Crap

    Mean testing = testing how mean hey can get?

  • http://www.KopitiamApek.com KopitiamApek

    Mean testing = testing how mean they can get?

  • http://www.KopitiamApek.com KopitiamApek

    63) mice is nice

    This lady is taliking about Family Jewels
    Doe she know testicles (or balls, to get to the point) are sometimes called the family jewels

  • HoChing rules

    perhaps the truth will only be revealed once the old man passes on.

  • pancake

    Any risk guys want to comment on the meaning of VAR? I thought finance people usually use VAR to refer to either 1% or 5% probability of loss. Wonder how does 16% come about.

  • AN

    The loss of SGD40 billion was also ‘unfortunate’. Divide this SGD40 billion loss to 3 million S’poreans (minus out foreigners & PRs), each S’porean will have SGD13K+ to spend domestically and the ROI will be more fruitful than those ‘toxic assets’ invested recklessly!

    Really unfortunate Ms Ho, that you are still holding the position of CEO! At the rate you are ‘losing’, very soon all our CPF monies will be wiped out and eventually we will be the ones who’ll be the Most ‘unfortunate’!

    God help us…..

  • Derrick

    After so much hv been said, why not get our President to share his wisdom
    since he’s the ‘key’ person to protect our reserves and maybe he can help
    to put it simply for most of us who are unfamilar with the various financial
    jargon.

  • DavidSeeLeongKit

    S’POREANS vs TEMASEK CEO

    > Temasek CEO Ho Ching say:
    “We look at this speculation sometimes with IRRITATION and sometimes with AMUSEMENT because all of it is very far away from THE TRUTH”

    > S’poreans say:
    We are also not AMUSED by Temasek’s lack of transparency and accountability concerning the People’s hard-earned monies.
    Neither are we IRRITATED but TOTALLY DISGUSTED by your persistent refusal to disclose THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH behind the never-ending Monumental Financial Fiasco after Fiasco !!!

  • DavidSeeLeongKit

    Quick Estimate of Temasek CEO Ho Ching’s salary:

    FACTUAL NOTE: Ho Ching is a MERE Civil Servant and NOT EVEN a Politician!

    Total Annual Pay (TAP) of Temasek-Linked Companies’ CEOs who report to Ho Ching:
    — Keppel Corporation CEO S$9.6 million
    — Former DBS CEO Jackson Tai S$7 million
    — Former SingTel CEO Lee Hsien Yang S$5 million

    Therefore, Ho Ching’s TAP is likely two-digit millions i.e. upwards of S$10 million.
    ( ditto for Total Annual Pay [ Basic Pay + Bonuses ] of Singapore Cabinet Ministers )

  • 1st world citizen

    Can i say singaporeans are stakeholders of the T and G and their investments?

    If so, what say do they have on these entities?
    what?

  • erected champion

    Will the majority continue to support for eternity or until when will things change?
    I mean i am impressed by singaporeans relentless support and TRUST.
    truely 1st world.

  • Jonah

    I am looking forward to oppo posing intelligent, challenging questions wrt this TH debacle in the impending election.

    “you can run, but you can’t hide…”

  • moneystolen

    not so well done, thou silly and unfaithful servant

  • Rior

    no need to bitch about temasek because nothing can shake their power. just pray that you will be able to cash out all your CPF money one day

  • GOON_DOO

    Just got an information….

    When Mr. Goodyear was appointed to takeover the CEO post around March 09, there was already a plan to call for an election during June 09. HC was supposed to hand over ‘officially’ only in Oct 09.

    In order to tame voters on the losses suffered and to convince voters that famiLEE is not controlling TH, they decided to call upon an ‘outsider’ to takeover the CEO post, and there was already plan to kick this temporary CEO out before Oct 09, ie, once the election is over.

    This tactic was used in the 60′s. During that time, then the communist leaders were in today’s Mr. Goodyear shoe.

    However, the sudden recovery in the stock market, the property market, and the economy as whole prompted them to call off the election. But still, Mr. Goodyear had to leave TH.

  • borderless

    No matter how ruthless and unrepentant one is, there is such a thing as conscience.

    The legendary Dr. Lee Siew Cho once commented in an election campaign long pass : “he cannot sleep at night .. he needs barbiturates..”

    Whatever good a man has done, it will all come to nothing if he is corrupted by his power and ego. Herr Adolf Hitler has done the 1930s Germany heck of a lot of good in the early years of his reign. But he erred because he was a power-hungry megalomaniac and went insane in the pursuit of his mad dream to conquer the world.

  • Anonymous

    It such a disgrace for HC to continue as CEO of Temasek especially in view of such bad reviews of her in the foreign press. If I am her, I would have resigned out of shame.

  • FPC

    Certainly unhappy about the negative wealth add is certainly a very detached and gross understatement of the unhappiness among Singaporeans.

    This is the standard of our leaders

  • red_dot

    If someone had lost such a substantial amount of money,
    not thousands, not millions but BILLIONS, how is it that
    that person is still in the job smiling away and her only
    regret is “We are certainly not happy with the negative
    wealth……..”

    This is regrettably unbelievable!!!

    Is this Uniquely Singapore????

  • loop

    When a new Chairman steps in, some of the deadwood in the company would usually be ask to leave. As for TH, the Chairman has to resign instead. By looking at this, you know how those cheena old guards in TH works. Not a company worth working for.

  • mike

    well, MM said they do use the best of lthe bests meaning….since they are the best and most expensive = losses in billions too.

  • Harrison

    Enough of crap excuses by Temasek and GIC, both headed by the related family members. Singaporeans want accountability which means those heads must be given the marching orders. This will never happen of course, not when it’s run like a family business.

    Fellow Singaporeans,
    It’s time to shake off our lethargic and pathetic nature. May I suggest an online petition calling for Ho Ching’s dismissal and Lee Kuan Yew’s stepping down from GIC?

    >100,000 signatures will send a ringing message of public discontent with them.

  • Better-than-Buffet

    What is the real percentage return since TH started investing overseas–i.e. minus the returns from the monopolistic profits that govt squeezed out of its citizens {SPH, SMRT, STARUB etc}?
    This is the thumping elephant in the room.
    The world awaits with bated breath for an answer from TH
    BTW–Warren Buffet choked on his buffet breakfast when he heard that TH employs out of job ex army generals to handle investments.

  • Racial

    They did a good job so far until this recession comes. Are they resting on their laurels and getting too complacent?

  • moimoshedyanmatagandhi

    [i]Better-than-Buffet on July 31st, 2009 1.43 pm What is the real percentage return since TH started investing overseas–i.e. minus the returns from the monopolistic profits that govt squeezed out of its citizens {SPH, SMRT, STARUB etc}?[/i]
    how do temasek inc invest in overseas billion$
    did they do their homeworks @ all
    when they bought from virgin atlantic a giant share$
    temasek assumed virgins atlantic is british airways
    and further assumed that it has the flyin rights to dropped pickup passengers from britain to usa…
    british airport authority tell temasek
    you wait long lone
    and temasek threathen to sue the british airport authority
    as though temasek inc think they owned the british government as well
    here we have 1 idiot
    his name is pendant…
    a livin example…………….

  • notalone

    “We look at this speculation sometimes with irritation and sometimes with amusement because all of it is very far away from the truth, including those sources who claimed to be familiar with the situation.” –

    you guys saw how black was HC’s face when delivering the above statements? As if many Singaporeans have done something wrong to her…

  • mee siam

    Is SIA under T?
    I assume so. But unsure.
    SIA performing or not?
    If not how this gonna affect you the People? no effect? sure?

  • George So Loss

    Can someone help to compile a list of the failed foreign forays?
    From Micropolis ,UBS, ABC, BOA SHINCORP MERILL LYNCH.etc etc
    Do a guestimate of these losses. Do not let the injections of monopolistic GLC profits crowd the issue. Then we will know the true extent of the overseas loss.Hence the true performance of TH.
    BTW–was the phrase -We will not sell our familee jewels—–a classic Freudian slip

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  • http://Nil Goon Doo People

    If U people want to get the correct figure U must Mutiply By 10times.
    Goon Doo People

  • unhappy

    its mistakes after mistakes and losses and more losses. what our top brains been doing?

  • AN

    Only such ‘economic disasters’ can happen in S’pore. Without any transparency and accountability, we won’t know how much losses were actually incurred from the day HC lay her hands on Micropolis, UBS, ABC, BOA SHINCORP MERILL LYNCH etc.

    I guess the best way is to do freelance job and stop making any contributions to CPF. This way, you won’t feel heartache when they losses our hard-earned monies recklessly without any tranparencies and accountability.

    Afterall, why work so hard and see our CPF being wasted away through such Dynastic Governance in Temasek & GIC.

    If such failed investments were to happen in a wholly-private owned company, many heads will roll. But here in ‘Uniquely Singapore’, nevermind the losses, you still get to keep your cushy post and salaries.

    If this is not nepotism or cronyism or dynastic governance, tell me what is. LKY thinks he’s Great and probably Immortal, but his earthly days are numbered. He’s such a political coward. Rule by fear. I have no respect for this evil man.

  • Charles Lee

    Isn’t SIA heading for its first ever year-on loss?

  • omega

    luckily they did not lay their hands on aeroflot, the world’s greatest airline

  • mice is nice

    if they did have to rebrand as AeroSink….

  • Passerby

    Friday August 7, 2009

    Temasek clarifies its position

    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/8/1/focus/4428168&sec=focus

    Quote “WE refer to “On another headhunt” (The Star, Aug 1). The article stated that Temasek Holdings’ investment funds “come from Singaporeans”, and “the nation’s reserves”.

    We wish to clarify that Temasek Holdings is an investment company wholly owned by the Singapore government. We manage our portfolio and assets as an owner, and pay taxes to the Singapore government as well as to other governments where we have investments and operations.

    We are not a fund manager, and do not manage the foreign exchange reserves of Singapore, nor the pension funds of Singaporeans. From our investment returns, we distribute dividends to our shareholders.

    Temasek invests according to its funding capacity. Our investments are primarily funded from our investment returns including dividends and proceeds from divestments. We also tap on commercial borrowings, and the capital markets.

    Our operations and investment activities do not “result in higher tax bills” for Singaporeans, as wrongly suggested in the article. Our cash flow and low gearing give us a wide range of capital raising options.

    As spelt out in a recent public speech, the introduction of co-investors, if it should materialise, is meant to broaden the base of Temasek’s stakeholders, “for discipline and performance in the decades ahead”.

    This is in line with our goal of building an institution that is committed to delivering sustainable long-term value, both to our shareholder, and to the wider community in Asia.

    As a long-term investor, we are meticulous about governance, investment and people decisions.

    We are open to non-Singaporeans for our board as well as for CEO or other management positions.

    Our CEO succession review is part of our board governance and discipline where we review succession options every year. This process was put in place by our current CEO with the support of our board, and continues regardless of whoever the CEO is.

    Myrna Thomas,

    Managing Director, Corporate Affairs, Temasek Holdings.” Unquote

  • Passerby

    Quote ” Friday August 7, 2009
    Temasek clarifies its position
    The Star Online

    WE refer to “On another headhunt” (The Star, Aug 1). The article stated that Temasek Holdings’ investment funds “come from Singaporeans”, and “the nation’s reserves”.

    We wish to clarify that Temasek Holdings is an investment company wholly owned by the Singapore government. We manage our portfolio and assets as an owner, and pay taxes to the Singapore government as well as to other governments where we have investments and operations.

    We are not a fund manager, and do not manage the foreign exchange reserves of Singapore, nor the pension funds of Singaporeans. From our investment returns, we distribute dividends to our shareholders.

    Temasek invests according to its funding capacity. Our investments are primarily funded from our investment returns including dividends and proceeds from divestments. We also tap on commercial borrowings, and the capital markets.

    Our operations and investment activities do not “result in higher tax bills” for Singaporeans, as wrongly suggested in the article. Our cash flow and low gearing give us a wide range of capital raising options.

    As spelt out in a recent public speech, the introduction of co-investors, if it should materialise, is meant to broaden the base of Temasek’s stakeholders, “for discipline and performance in the decades ahead”.

    This is in line with our goal of building an institution that is committed to delivering sustainable long-term value, both to our shareholder, and to the wider community in Asia.

    As a long-term investor, we are meticulous about governance, investment and people decisions.

    We are open to non-Singaporeans for our board as well as for CEO or other management positions.

    Our CEO succession review is part of our board governance and discipline where we review succession options every year. This process was put in place by our current CEO with the support of our board, and continues regardless of whoever the CEO is.

    Myrna Thomas,

    Managing Director, Corporate Affairs, Temasek Holdings.” Unquote

  • Daniel

    “We are not a fund manager, and do not manage the foreign exchange reserves of Singapore, nor the pension funds of Singaporeans.”

    Myrna Thomas,
    who are you trying to kid ?

    Of course you and TH don’t manage the funds, TH just use the fund approved and give by another board that manage the fund of Singaporean.

    Just because TH just a third party middleman doesn’t mean it don’t use state’s fund. It just get those fund indirectly rather than directly. Trying to play another ShinCorpse punk ?

    So please cut the bullshit.

  • Daniel

    You know the world-class bullshit of our gahmen ? If you ever ask why TH is not responsible and unaccountable to republic of Singapore, guess what is the answer sprout off from majority of gahmen.
    The answer: TH is a private entity/company.

    Wow, that is amazing. No wonder every GLC company want to be fully privatised so no need to be accountable and responsible to the citizen anymore even though they use state fund to build infrastructure initially.

  • mice is nice

    “not fund manager”? but gambler?

    fortune favours the bold? gamble big to win big, get the BIG picture?
    :)

  • Eddie Pang

    I think Temasek is feeding high pay to many FUN Managers, they have fun, regardless of losses to build up their credentail, so one day, when crisis happens to Singapore, just see how many of these IRRESPOSIBLE souls ( if they have ) will stay put !

  • Lum Chance

    Myrna Thomas, Managing Director, Corporate Affairs, Temasek Holdings.” talked about succession plan to HC..

    well, there are some 300 former pap parliamentarians, and many were praised by MMLee as capable to be CEO, in private sector, then why, we need to look for foreign expat ?

    should there be more than enough choice for CEO for Temasek ?

  • Alvin

    But as long as the majority do not Bother to Expect the Answers,
    what can be done?

    nothing?

  • chan ah tiong

    i spoke with many youths, those less educated , and realise they do not know WHAT they should DEMAND.

  • kaao chinuis

    I feel that what is more interesting is to find out
    how have intellectuals and more highly educated people think about political issues and what have they voiced up about issues concerning singapore and its future, given that they may know more or have more knowledge.

    I know that singapore has many educated as doctors, professors, lawyers, auditors, accountants and engineers. What have they voiced up given their immense intellectual capacity?

    Or is silence golden for these well educated citizens?

    when they study, do they question, challenge the theories given to them, and demand or expect answers ? If there are valid reasons to question something, would they be able to do so?

    singapore’s future can also be affected by these people one way or another.

  • orderofthecouncil

    Long live emperor Lee.@@

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