What is Temasek Holdings

Temasek Holdings is a government-owned company that manages an investment fund on behalf of the Government of Singapore. It focuses on investments located in Singapore, Asia and emerging economies. According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Temasek Holdings has approximately $227 billion in portfolio value as of March 2017. The investment fund currently has 11 offices globally and manages a wide range of investments and financial services including telecommunications, media and technology, transportation and industrials, consumer and real estate, life sciences and agribusiness, energy and resources.

BREAKING DOWN Temasek Holdings

Although Temasek Holdings has the usual corporate structure, with two unique features due to its status as a Fifth Schedule corporation in Singapore. First, the approval of the President of Singapore is required to take certain actions, such as appointment and removal of directors and key managers. Second, the financial statements of Temasek Holdings are audited by the Government of Singapore's Auditor-General. The majority of Temasek Holdings' directors and key officers are independent directors appointed from the private sector. Temasek has one sole shareholder in the Singapore Minister for Finance.

The company boasts a 15 percent shareholder return since their original inception in 1974 and also describes on their website that they have a stake in giving back. According to their site, Temasek Holdings has six foundations that oversee 18 philanthropic endowments: Temasek Foundation International, Temasek Foundation Cares, Temasek Foundation Connects, Temasek Foundation Nurtures, Temasek Foundation Innovates and Temasek Foundation Ecosperity. Overall, Temasek Holdings claims to have impacted 500,000 people throughout Asia and Singapore with their community work.

History of Temasek Holdings

Temasek Holdings was founded in 1974 under the Singapore Companies Act, which incorporated the organization. Incorporation allowed the company to own and management investments and assets that the Singapore Government had previously been responsible for. By relieving the government from the financial aspect task of managing investments, the government’s Ministry of Finance was able to have more time and abilities to focus on policy making and regulation, as it was designed to do. The company was originally built on a portfolio of 354 million dollars from shares in companies, start-ups and ventures that were held by the Singapore government, including a bird park, a hotel, a shoe maker, a steel mill and an airline.

Despite the fact that the Singapore Minister of Finance is the company’s sole shareholder, the Singapore Government is not directly involved in any of the investment or operational decisions on any level of the company. The government is a shareholder as outlined by the Board of Temasek, which allows the company to continue to operate as a Fifth Scheduled Company.