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Singapore Temasek May Issue Debt, Eyes New Markets

15 May, 2009

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd  may issue more bonds of different maturities in future and could invest beyond its Asian backyard into Latin America, Russia and Africa.

“We hope to establish a series of different tenured bonds for a more robust and nuanced signal over the longer term,” Temasek CEO Ho Ching said in a speech posted on the firm’s website on Thursday.
Temasek had issued $1.75 billion in 10-year bonds in September 2005 from its $5 billion global medium-term note program but since then has not sold fresh bonds.
Temasek’s portfolio, bulging with banks such as Standard Chartered Plc  and Bank of America Corp, slid 31 percent between March and November to S$127 billion ($87 billion).
The global financial crisis has reset Temasek’s portfolio value back three years to the level seen in March 2006, said Ho in the speech.
Ho, who is stepping down and will be replaced by former BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer Chip Goodyear in October, also said that the investment firm has debated whether to raise its long term Asia exposure, and add new exposures to other geographies.
“This means maintaining our exposure to rest of Asia at 40 percent, keeping Singapore at about 30 percent, reducing OECD exposure to 20 percent and adding exposure to other geographies such as Latin America, Russia and Africa of up to 10 percent,” she said.
Ho, who is also the wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said she is confident about the long-term growth of Asia, where during her tenure the firm has invested in Bank of China Ltd  and India’s ICICI Bank Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd.
Earlier this week Temasek bought more shares in China Construction Bank Corp, in which it had a stake of around 6 percent before the latest purchase. 


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Singapore Temasek May Issue Debt, Eyes New Markets

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