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Temasek Holdings Ltd.


About Temasek Holdings Ltd.

The state of the nation

Temasek Holdings is a Singapore-based state investment agency considered to be one of the most prominent investment houses in Asia, with a reputation for being stubbornly opaque.  Temasek’s portfolio of companies stretches into banking and finance, telecommunications, health care, education, consumer industries, engineering and energy.  Temasek’s shareholder returns since its inception in 1974 boast an average 18 percent compounded annually and have also earned an impressive triple A credit rating by both Standard & Poor's and Moody's.  Temasek aims to refurbish economies and encourage the budding middle-class, focusing one-third of their efforts in Singapore, one-third in the rest of Asia and one-third in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Because of its expanding investments abroad, Temasek has lessened its Singaporean exposure and focused on Asia and beyond.  Asian exposure (excluding Singapore) accounted for 43 percent of the company's portfolio in 2009 from 40 percent in 2008.  In its latest move to be recognized internationally, Temasek revised its charter in August 2009, emphasizing it to be a commercial private entity and veering away from its association with the Singaporean government.

A bit of trouble

Like most of the prominent capital pushers, Temasek has not been without its fair share of controversies.  One of which is being owned by Singapore’s Ministry of Finance and being excluded in the Singapore-Washington agreement on transparency disclosure.  Another headline-grabbing controversy happened in 2007 when Indonesia ruled the firm guilty due to breach in the Indonesian antimonopoly law.

However, the most controversial to date was Temasek’s involvement in the ouster of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.  Temasek's January 2006 acquisition of Thai communications company Shin Corporation from the Shinawatra family proved to be an unpopular move as the family earned a large amount of money on the deal tax-free and was accused by many of selling Thai national interests to foreign entities.  This sale was one of the primary catalysts of the highly strained Thai political crisis.  Ultimately, Temasek divested its acquisition of the Shin Corporation.

Dynamic and optimistic

The setback in global economy has affected Temasek’s rallying portfolio performance for the past years as its revenue declined to SGD$79.6 billion in March 2009 from $83.3 billion in 2008.  Investments were down to just SGD$9 billion compared to its divestments, which totaled $16 billion.  However, Temasek is still hopeful as economic forecasters predict that Asia and the emerging markets where Temasek’s exposure is greater are headed toward economic recovery in the long run.

Temasek Holdings Ltd.

60B Orchard Road
#06-18 Tower 2, The Atrium@ Orchard
Singapore 238891

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Executive Director and CEO: Ho Ching
2008 Employees (All Locations): 380