Temasek likely to report record $300b portfolio

Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings said it will give details of its performance this week.
Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings said it will give details of its performance this week. PHOTO: ST FILE

Value powered by gains in DBS Group and Chinese banks; analysts see no let-up in investments in start-ups

Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings is likely to book a record $300 billion for the value of its portfolio, powered by gains in DBS Group Holdings and Chinese banks, while it steps up investment in tech start-ups.

At the same time, Temasek is swooping in on opportunistic purchases with its stake buy in Swiss-based airline caterer Gategroup Holding, weeks after an announced move to buy into Hainan Airlines Holding Co.

Both firms are part of China's debt-saddled HNA Group Co, which has been selling part of its holdings.

Analysts estimate Temasek, the top investor in about a third of companies in the Straits Times Index, to report a net portfolio value of $300 billion for the year ended March 31, up roughly 9 per cent versus a nearly 14 per cent increase to $275 billion a year earlier.

Temasek said it will give details of its performance this week.

"Last year was a good year across all asset classes and across the world. A rise in its portfolio value to above $300 billion is quite doable," said Mr Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Banking.

A GOOD YEAR

Last year was a good year across all asset classes and across the world. A rise in its portfolio value to above $300 billion is quite doable.

MR SONG SENG WUN, an economist at CIMB Private Banking, on Temasek's portfolio value..

Last month, Temasek and GIC, Singapore's bigger state fund, featured among the main investors in a record-setting US$14 billion (S$19 billion) fund raising by China's Ant Financial Services Group. Temasek also put more money into Chinese online services firm Meituan-Dianping last year.

Meanwhile, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan index advanced 18 per cent in the year to March, while Singapore's main index rose 8 per cent.

In recent years, Temasek has become a global investor, ploughing billions of dollars into start-ups and emerging markets.

Dr Veljko Fotak, an assistant professor of international finance from the University at Buffalo in the United States, said that despite Temasek's renewed emphasis on the tech sector, it is "at the same time keeping its feet well on the ground, investing in real estate and infrastructure worldwide".

Last year, Temasek's Mapletree Investments bought a portfolio of student accommodation properties in North America worth US$1.6 billion, expanding its exposure to the sector.

Analysts see no let-up in Temasek's investments in start-ups.

"Tech investments this year have been focused on virtual reality, education tech start-ups, ride-hailing and fintech start-ups," said Mr Javier Capape, director of the Sovereign Wealth Lab at Madrid's IE Business School.

He added that though more sovereign wealth funds are joining the group of sovereign venture funds, Temasek was still leading in terms of capital deployed and activity.

Temasek also participated in a funding in Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek, and led a US$502 million investment in Magic Leap, a US start-up developing augmented reality tech products.

In the past year, Temasek benefited from a 42 per cent surge in DBS shares, while in Hong Kong, China Construction Bank Corp and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China rose 29 per cent and over 32 per cent, respectively.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2018, with the headline 'Temasek likely to report record $300b portfolio'. Print Edition | Subscribe