Eleven days after GE 2020, Temasek Holdings reported today (21 Jul) a preliminary total shareholder return of minus 2.3% for the latest financial year ended 31 March 2020.

Temasek’s net portfolio value dropped to S$306 billion from S$313 billion a year earlier. It warned that a second wave of coronavirus could further dampen global markets.

Temasek International CEO Dilhan Pillay said in a pre-recorded comments released today that a lower-returns environment, geopolitics and strategic rivalries as well as the ongoing pandemic will create even more uncertainties for investors.

He emphasized that Temasek looks to long-term returns and said their portfolio had performed relatively well. “We ended the year in a net cash position with a strong balance sheet,” Pillay said. “This positions us well to ride through the tough times to position our companies for future growth.”

Bailing out GLCs

Temasek has earlier announced its support of several GLCs with billions of dollars in cash and other measures as losses continue to mount in the GLCs.

For example, Singapore Airlines has a Temasek-backed plan to raise around S$8.8 billion, while Sembcorp Marine is embarking on a similarly supported capital round. A unit of Temasek is also in talks for a potential investment of at least US$400 million in Singapore shipping tycoon Chang Yun Chung’s Pacific International Lines (‘PIL finally admits it is in talks with Temasek’s unit for potential investment‘).

In any case, Temasek said that compared with the 18.3% decline of MSCI Singapore Index and 5.8% drop of MSCI World Index, Temasek portfolio had stayed resilient with only a 2.3% decline.

“As was evidenced during the SARS epidemic and the Global Financial Crisis, Temasek typically outperforms market indices during market downturns,” it boasted.

Final results to be delayed till Sep

Just before GE 2020 earlier this month, Temasek Holdings CEO Ho Ching announced that the release of the finalized numbers of its results would be delayed till September (‘Ho Ching: “Temasek’s own annual reporting will be delayed from Jul till Sep”‘).

She blamed it on the COVID-19 pandemic. “This year, covid has delayed the financial reporting for many companies, especially those with operations all over the world,” she said.

Her announcement prompted netizens to speculate that Temasek didn’t want to release any bad results prior to GE for fear of affecting voters’ sentiments against the ruling PAP.

Jeremey Wong: Why not release it as per schedule. People will understand performance not good due to COVID-19. We know the world is going into recession. People are smart enough to make their own view but delaying it certainly raise more eyebrows.

Benson Lan Pah Tua: Pap as usual, always give you all the bad news after an election. Before election they only want you to hear the good things

Ken Lim: If there is anything good to say surely would show hand already. Now don’t want to show hand to prevent rocking the boat for incumbent.

Buck Low: Doesn’t it give you a feeling that things that will favour them they rush (eg GE) and things that may not favour them, they “ta” brake?

Tiffany Nip: After election, they will announce losses so everything have to go up… The usual tricks by them…

陈铭伦: Why not wait until the last COVID virus dies off then release the report ?? Probably 10 yrs later ?

Kenny Kwan: Mostly in reds, going to piss off more supporters during election.

Heng WM: The delay of announcement is not to affect the pap’s election result.

Winson Tan: Announce results later PAP lose less votes?

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