A brief summary of what was said about town councils’ investment. Note: Is Holland-Bukit Panjang’s Town Council’s investment losses limited to structured products? The MPs for the GRC are: Lim Swee Say, Vivian Balakrishnan, Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Liang Eng Hwa, Christopher De Souza and Teo Ho Pin. (See here.)

2 December 2007:

But he (Charles Chong) cautioned town councils against becoming too conservative with their investment. ‘Our inflation rate is going up and estimated to hit 5 per cent. If we’re getting a yield of 2 or 3 per cent, we are really eroding the value of our reserves. – Charles Chong, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee on National Development and the Environment. (Straits Times)

17 November 2008

Going forward, the co-ordinating chairman of PAP town councils, Dr Teo Ho Pin, said future investments will remain diversified but will be on the conservative side. (Channel NewsAsia)

17 November 2008

Just like thousands of Singapore investors who have lost money on failed Lehman-linked structured products, the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council may lose its S$8 million investment. – Channel NewsAsia

8 July 2008

According to Creative Technology’s (CT) annual report, Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council (HBPTC) was listed as one of the majority shareholders with 530,000 shares currently valued at about $3.2 million. I understand that CT’s share price from 2003 to 2007, has ranged from a high of $27.30 to it’s current price of $6.10 on 12 October 2007. (Leong Sze Hian – The Online Citizen).

6 November 2008

It was written clearly on the prospectus of the Lehman-linked products that investors could lose their principal sum. And the people entrusted to invest the sinking funds are familiar with market realities: Typically, town councils’ investment portfolios are managed by internal finance committees, or external fund managers.

So what are the affected town councils doing about their losses? Are they exhausting all channels to recover as much of their outlay as possible or will they shrug it off as “bad luck”? The town councils seem unlikely to get a single cent back. The banks have made it clear they would only consider compensating “vulnerable” retail investors, the same group the Monetary Authority of Singapore had directed the banks to pay attention to. (TODAY)


Read TOC’s previous articles on town councils’ investments and sinking funds:

$1 billion in town council funds : what’re they used for?

Town Councils investments – be accountable to constituents

Why so silent, PAP Town Councils?

Uniquely Singapore, F1 or F9: “Residents willing to pay more for service and conservancy”?


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