Temasek delays annual report until Sept amid COVID-19 disruptions

FILE PHOTO - A Temasek logo is seen at the annual Temasek Review in Singapore July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek plans to delay its annual report until September from the usual July announcement amid disruptions caused by the COVID-19 viral outbreak, CEO and Executive Director Ho Ching said in a Facebook post.

“This year, COVID has delayed financial reporting for many companies, especially those with operations all over the world. Many Temasek portfolio companies have businesses that span the globe,” she said.

“To accommodate this delay of global consolidation for financial reporting, Temasek’s own annual reporting will be delayed,” Ho added.

Analysts have pointed to the difficulty of estimating Temasek’s portfolio size this year, in part due to a higher proportion of its portfolio being invested in privately held companies.

Temasek’s fiscal year ends 31 March; its portfolio valuation was likely dented by global markets hitting a nadir in March, although they have since recovered.

Ho also highlighted that Temasek invests on longer-term horizons for trends, with some of those trends being accelerated by the pandemic.

“We also aim to build a fortress balance sheet in the event of a downturn. As a result, we have been in net cash since 2007-2008, just before the global financial crisis hit,” she said.

In its 2019 review, Temasek highlighted its four basic investment themes: Transforming economies, growing middle-income populations, deepening comparative advantages and emerging champions. It added those themes that led to six structural trends: longer lifespans, rising affluence, sustainable living, a more connected world, the sharing economy and smarter systems.

Ho pointed to concerns over the pandemic’s impact on the global economy, saying it had become a bigger-than-expected problem and noting the company had needed to recapitalize Singapore Airlines.

Earlier this year, Temasek, which held nearly 56 per cent of the carrier, took up most of Singapore Airlines’ rights issue, which raised around $8.8 billion. SIA also raised another S$900 million via long-term loans secured by some of its aircraft.

Ho also noted that Temasek was a key contributor to the Singapore government’s budget, with half of its expected long-term returns available for spending. She said Temasek, along with GIC – another state-owned investment company which invests the city-state’s reserves – and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, have provided the single largest source of government revenue over the past 20 years, and have amounted to more than 20 per cent of government operating revenue over the past five years.

Those comments come as Singapore has entered the campaign period for its upcoming general election, set for 10 July. All of the city-state’s 93 seats in Parliament are being contested, marking only the second time that’s happened since the country’s independence.

While the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is generally expected to maintain its comfortable majority, opposition parties frequently point to a lack of transparency from the state-owned investment companies and often urge the government to spend more of its reserves.

To be sure, after years of maintaining a “prudent” stance on keeping reserves in the event of a crisis, the government has since put forward four budgets this year, with S$193 billion in total, to counter the economic impact of the pandemic.

 

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.