LIC’s share price drops 36% in 9 months after GIC invests in it; LIC has significant exposure to Adani

Last May, Indian state-run insurance company, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India, went public. Among the investors who had subscribed to its shares included Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. LIC’s IPO helped raise US$2.7 billion for the company. However, upon its market debut, LIC’s shares immediately fell as much as 9.4 per cent. And thanks to … Read more

Singapore Govt’s continued refusal to disclose remuneration of top executives at Statutory Boards and SWFs

The Singapore Government continues to resist calls to disclose the remuneration of Chief Executive Officers and directors of Statutory Boards and Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs).  In September this year, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) stated that it intends to introduce changes relating to board renewal and remuneration matters, with the aim of raising corporate governance standards of … Read more

Indian startup funded by Singapore GIC shoots rocket short of 100km altitude

BENGALURU, INDIA — It was reported in Reuters that India has successfully launched its first privately developed rocket, the Vikram-S, on Friday (18 Nov). Until now, the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has had a monopoly on launching rockets in India but the country started to open up its space sector to private companies in 2020. … Read more

Indranee Rajah: Wrong to assume loans provided by GIC and Temasek to bail out companies

In Parliament yesterday (5 Jun), Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah said that it was a “wrong assumption” that loans are being provided by GIC and Temasek to bail out companies. She was responding to Workers’ Party NCMP Leon Perera who asked about the Government’s role in loans provided by GIC and Temasek … Read more

Who holds the sovereign wealth of this nation and why?

Sydney Morning Herald:
SINGAPOREANS aren’t usually given to open criticism of the Lee family that has ruled them for half a century. Rightly or wrongly, some presume that in their tightly controlled island state, walls have ears, and one never knows who is listening. But this time it’s different. Singaporeans are deeply displeased with their Prime Minister’s wife, Ho Ching. – “Lumbered with the boss’s wife”.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam

Investment in our only natural resource, our people, could potentially have had a much higher internal rate of return, in the form of a more highly educated workforce, than that achieved by Temasek or GIC on their overseas investments.

Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) are not a new idea. According to Wikipedia, the term Sovereign Wealth Fund was first used by Andrew Rozanov in an article entitled, ‘Who holds the wealth of nations?’ in the Central Banking Journal of May 2005. A SWF may be broadly defined as a state-owned investment fund composed of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, property, precious metals or other financial instruments.

Theoretically one can distinguish two types of SWFs. The first, and the oldest form of SWF, is one set up to manage revenues from an exhaustible resource such as oil, or one which derives its assets from government budget surpluses. An example of one based on resources, and arguably the first SWF was the Kuwait Investment Authority, a commodity SWF created in 1953 from oil revenues before Kuwait even gained independence from Great Britain. A more recent example is the Norwegian SWF which was set up primarily to ensure that the wealth represented by Norway’s oil reserves was not squandered on current consumption but turned into financial assets which would benefit future generations.

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In a culture of secrecy, no courage is required

Ravi Philemon

“A Temasek spokeswoman declined Friday to comment on the price the fund sold its shares for or the timing of the sale”, reported the Associated Press.  Why should the secretive Temasek Holdings reveal such sensitive information to a wire agency when they will not reveal it to the real stakeholders in the government holding company, the citizens of Singapore?

In 2008,  Temasek Holdings (which was by then managing portfolios worth $185 billion), was asked to appear before the US House of Representatives before a joint sub-committee of the House Financial Services Committee in a hearing related to foreign government investments in the United States.  Temasek Holdings then declared that, “(it) has to sell assets to raise cash for new investments and doesn’t require the government to give approvals”, mainly to assuage US concerns on transparency and non-politicization of investments.

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