Secretive Singapore government investment agency known Tamasek Holdings – which retains a stake in Singapore-based regional custodian, DBS – is to go for a credit rating by 2005. The aim is to increase transparency ahead of an overseas investment drive.
In a speech given to Singapore’s Institute of Policy Studies, Ho Ching, the group’s executive director and chief officer – as well as the wife Singapore ‘s financial director and future prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong – discussed plans for a dramatic shift in Tamesek’s operations and strategy. Since the group was formed 30 years ago, it has traditionally sought to invest domestically in companies such as DBS Bank, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Telecommunications, but Ho said she believes Temasek, which will seek to “demystify” its operations, can increase performance though direct overseas investment. In the past Temasek-linked companies had been left on their own to seek overseas expansion.
“Just as many of our TLCs have grown offshore with a large part of income and profits now derived from offshore operations and investments, the Temasek portfolio will in time reflect our presence and interest in Asia and further afield,” she said. “In short, we will work to transform our portfolio from a proxy for the Singapore GDP, into a balanced GNP portfolio leveraging on the growth and promise of Singapore, Asean, Asia and the world.”