Temasek to release annual report in September instead of July amid Covid-19

The delay comes at a challenging time for Temasek, which saw its public equity holdings take a beating in the first quarter. PHOTO: TEMASEK HOLDINGS

SINGAPORE - State investment firm Temasek Holdings will release its annual report in September instead of July to accommodate the delay in consolidating financial reporting for its portfolio companies around the world, chief executive Ho Ching said on Thursday (July 2).

Ms Ho, who is also Temasek's executive director, said in a Facebook post that many companies have delayed reporting this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She also noted that while the pandemic was unanticipated, the company had already begun making preparations to beef up its balance sheet as economic indicators had been worrisome since last year.

"We also aim to build a fortress balance sheet in the event of a downturn," said Ms Ho, who posted in response to "various chatter on Temasek's portfolio".

She added that the firm has been in a net cash position since 2007 and 2008, just before the global financial crisis hit.
Temasek's portfolio was valued at $313 billion as of March 31 last year, with 74 per cent invested outside of Singapore.

It has had to help a number of portfolio companies amid the pandemic.

Earlier this year, it fully underwrote an $8.8 billion rights issue by Singapore Airlines (SIA), of which it is the controlling shareholder. It took up its full pro-rata entitlement of 986 million rights shares as well as about $3.35 billion worth of mandatory convertible bonds issued by the national carrier.

Ms Ho said in her post that stepping in to recapitalise SIA was more than just helping it tide over the cashflow crush of Covid-19: "The Temasek support is to provide the foundation for SIA to emerge stronger and better."

Temasek, which owns 49.3 per cent of Sembcorp Industries, will also sub-underwrite $600 million of a proposed $2.1 billion rights issue by the firm's loss-making unit Sembcorp Marine.

Bloomberg reported on Monday (June 29) that Temasek is prepared to drop a $4 billion bid for control of Keppel Corp if the conglomerate's next earnings report triggers a clause that allows it to walk away, according to people familiar with the matter.

Temasek, which already owns about one-fifth of Keppel, had made a preconditional partial offer last October to buy an additional 30.6 per cent stake.

Meanwhile, Ms Ho said Temasek will work towards carbon neutrality for its portfolio, not just by investing in carbon solutions but also by working with existing and new portfolio companies to support their transition to a carbon neutral world.

In response to media queries, a spokesman for sovereign wealth fund GIC - which along with Temasek and the Monetary Authority of Singapore also manages a portion of Singapore's reserves - said on Thursday that it expects to publish its annual report by end July, as Covid-19 has delayed slightly the compilation of the financial results.

The report has been released in the first half of July in the last few years.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.