Temasek’s portfolio value hits record $283b aided by global equity rally, IPO gains

An employee walks past a sign for Temasek Holdings Pte at the company's offices in Singapore. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

Temasek Holdings’s portfolio value rose to a record S$381 billion ($283 billion) in the year ended March 31, 2021, after posting a dip in the previous financial year, the Singapore state-owned investment company said in its 2021 review.

The gains were underpinned by the rally in global equities as well as the public listings of its foreign portfolio companies such as Airbnb, Roblox, and Doordash.

Temasek’s portfolio value in 2020-21 was up S$75 billion over the previous year. In 2019-20, the value of its assets had dipped 2.2% to S$306 billion — the first fall after three consecutive years of gains.

Despite exposure to pandemic-hit businesses such as Singapore Airlines and offshore marine services firm Sembcorp Marine, among others, the company’s one-year total shareholder return in 2020-21 was 24.53%, higher than the 20-year and 10-year total shareholder return average of 8% and 7%, respectively.

For the period, Temasek posted revenue of S$110.9 billion and a net profit of S$56.5 billion.

Temasek
Source: Temasek.

“It was an active year, despite pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions. We invested to stimulate innovation and growth as we repositioned our portfolio for a changing world,” Temasek announced.

Temasek has 60% underlying exposure to developed economies as of March 31. China continues to account for its biggest geographic exposure at 27%, down from 29% in 2020, followed by Singapore at 24%, and the Americas at 20%.

Over the decade, its underlying exposure to developed economies has increased to about 60%, encompassing Singapore, North America, Europe, Australia & New Zealand, as well as Japan and Korea.

In terms of sectoral exposure, financial services continues to dominate Temasek’s portfolio at 24%, followed by Technology, Media & Entertainment (TMT – 21%), transportation & industrials (19%), consumer & real estate (14%), and life sciences & agri-food (10%).

Temasek
Chart from Temasek.

Temasek said it is increasingly shaping its portfolio in line with four global secular trends — Digitalisation, Sustainable Living, Future of Consumption, and Longer Lifespans.

“We continue to be guided by the structural trends we identified, as we work purposefully to strengthen our portfolio amidst the disruptions we have seen. Some of our large investments will help reposition our portfolio companies for a post-COVID world,” said Nagi Hamiyeh, joint head, investment; and head, portfolio development.

Equity rally, IPOs aid Temasek

The majority of Temasek’s investments are in equities.

Temasek had a good year as global equities have surged, with MSCI’s Asia shares ex-Japan index rallying 55% and Singapore’s Straits Times index rising 28% over the past financial year.

Its private capital portfolio also posted healthy returns during the financial year as some of the companies it invested in went public.

Some of the notable Temasek-backed companies that went public last year include Airbnb, which raised $3.5 billion to become the biggest US IPO of 2020, a year that was otherwise reeling under the adversities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Temasek had invested in Airbnb in 2015 in a deal that valued it at just $25.5 billion. Today, the company is valued at over $100 billion.

In December 2020, food delivery firm DoorDash Inc, another Temasek portfolio company, raised $3.37 billion in its IPO, valuing the startup at $71.3 billion. Temasek had co-led DoorDash’s $400-million funding round in 2019.

Other major Temasek portfolio companies that raked in capital through the IPO route include Roblox, a global online social and gaming platform, and customer experience management firm Sprinklr, among others.

Several other Temasek-backed companies are looking to tap the bourses. These include names like the online food delivery giant Zomato, and ride-hailing firm Ola in India, and Tokopedia in Indonesia.

Meanwhile Sea Group, another Temasek-backed firm, more than doubled its revenue and gross profits in 2020. It share price on the NYSE rose more than 5.5 fold in the 12 months ended March 30, 2021.

About 45% of Temasek’s portfolio is in unlisted assets, down from 48% in 2020. Liquid and listed assets where Temasek owns less than 20% account for 38% of the portfolio. Listed large blocs, where the company owns more than a 50% share, account for 10% of its portfolio.

Temasek Holdings chairman Lim Boon Heng said the firm will continue to work to catalyse solutions to key global challenges.

“We will deploy financial capital to stimulate innovation and growth; develop human capital to uplift capabilities and enhance potential; enable natural capital to foster sustainable solutions for the climate and a better living environment; and crowd in social capital to transform lives for a more inclusive and resilient world,” said he stressed.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.