Saturday, 23 September 2023

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Temasek’s NIRC contribution less than Budget surplus?

Are Temasek’s annual Net Investment Return Contributions (NIRC) less than the annual Budget surpluses?

I refer to the 2 full-page colour advertisements by Temasek in the Sunday Times of 29 July.

One of the charts indicates that the Net Investment Return Contribution (NIRC) from Monetary Authority of Singapore, GIC and Temasek was about $15.9$14.1 and $14.4 billion in FY2017, FY2016 and FY2015, respectively.

Since there is no breakdown – let us assume that Temasek’s contribution is about one-third – i.e. $5.3, $4.7 and $4.8 billion for the three years.

The overall Budget surpluses were $9.6, $6.12 and -$4.88 billion (deficit), for the three years, respectively.

Was the -%4.88 billion deficit in 2016 due in some way to the one-time transfer of $8 billion to the pioneer generation package, of which I understand that only about $250 million was budgeted for spending in the first year of the implementation of the pioneer generation package?

(Note: I had some difficulty finding the estimated and revised overall Budget surpluses in history – so, I have provided the links where I obtained the figures above)

So, does it mean that from a cashflow perspective – arguably, Temasek in a sense, never returned any money to help Singaporeans – if their annual contributions to the NIRC were less than the overall Budget surpluses?

Also note that “The constitutional amendment to include GIC and MAS in the NIR framework was passed by Parliament in 2008”, whereas “The constitutional amendment to include Temasek in the NIR framework was (only) passed by Parliament in 2015″.

Prior to the amendment in 2015, the contributions are based on the actual dividends received from Temasek. After the amendment, the contribution is based on the expected long-term real rate of return on Temasek’s net assets, including both realised and unrealised capital gains.

So, to what extent is the enormous growth of Temasek’s portfolio to $308 billion now is due to the accumulation of its returns, instead of returning more to Singaporeans?

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