In a Facebook post on Thursday (24 September), President Halimah Yacob revealed that she has received updates regularly from both GIC and Temasek on their investments, at least twice a year.
“Both GIC and Temasek invest our reserves, so it is important that I am periodically briefed on their global economic outlook, investment strategies and performance,” said President Halimah, adding that especially for this year’s virtual briefings with the impact of the on-going pandemic on their investments.
Noting COVID-19 has “fundamentally changed the world”, the President said that many investors have taken a hit from including Singapore’s investment entities.
However, she was glad that GIC and Temasek have taken steps to cushion themselves from the COVID-19 impact.
“But I am glad to learn that both GIC and Temasek have taken steps to cushion the impact. More importantly, as everyone adjusts to a new post-COVID-19 world and a reshuffling of the demand and supply chains, it is important that GIC and Temasek continue to position themselves for future opportunities,” she wrote.
She also highlighted that the annual briefings are useful for her to “engage GIC and Temasek on their market outlook”, which is a main factor in their projection of expected long-term returns.
“As provided for under our reserves management framework, these projections are used in the computation of the Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC) in our Budgets every year,” she explained.
“So it is imperative that in thinking about the estimates of the long-term expected returns, careful attention is paid to how structural and secular trends could affect the reserves and NIRC,” she added.
Previously on 11 March, President addressed that many Singaporean companies, particularly related to the tourism industry as well as other sectors, are impacted due to disrupted supply chains, rapidly falling demand and tightening of cash flows. She stated the government will consider utilising the Past Reserves if necessary to help deal with the economic impact caused by COVID-19.