Even MPs' call for transparency seems futile.


GIC, Temasek and transparency

Last updated on June 8th, 2009 at 09:27 am

Ho Ching, Chief Executive of Temasek Holdings

 

The latest revelation by Reuters that Temasek has off-loaded its stakes in Barclays Bank, resulting in an estimated loss of more than a billion dollars, is worrying. This comes on the heels of Temasek shedding its shares in the Bank of America in May. What is of more concern is that these losses were not revealed by Temasek or the government but by foreign news agencies and securities filing in the United States.

Even in Parliament, where several MPs called for more transparency, ministers continue to insist that Singapore's Sovereign Wealth Funds (Temasek and the GIC) invest for the "long term", contradicting the latest actions by these funds.

It seems that even our Members of Parliament are helpless in demanding transparency from these two funds.

The following video is from Singapore News Alternative.

 

 

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When we invest, we are investing for 10, 15, 20 years. You may look as if you are making a big loss today, but you have not borrowed money to invest. You will ride the storm, the company recovers, your shares go up.

MM Lee Kuan Yew, February 2009, Channel NewsAsia

We’ll most probably stay with the financials… Eventually, it must recover. It is the circulation system of the world.

MM Lee Kuan Yew, March 2009, Reuters

Temasek is a long term investor, not a short term trader of assets.

Finance Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, May 2009, Straits Times

Temasek sold its near 2 percent stake [in Barclays Bank] in December [2008] and January [2009]..

Reuters, June 2009

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