SINGAPORE - With more than US$100 billion (S$125 billion) of funds, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, and is highly regarded internationally for its professionalism.
Chief investment officer Ng Kok Song, 64, stepped down on Feb 1, after 27 years of managing Singapore's foreign reserves.
He steered GIC through financial booms and busts, including the October 1987 Black Monday stock market crash, the Asian financial crisis, the dot.com bubble and the recent global financial crisis.
But GIC has attracted criticism at home for various reasons, including not giving enough details of Singapore's reserves. Some have also questioned its high-profile investments, particularly its decision to pump billions of dollars into UBS and Citigroup at the height of the global financial crisis.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Ng said: "Once you have a long-term investment horizon, then from time to time, the markets will present you with an opportunity to make good long-term investments at attractive prices. If you are focusing on short-term results, this makes it difficult for GIC as an investment manager."
GIC's report out last year showed that it earned an annualised 3.9 per cent real rate of return over 20 years. In other words, the annual return was 3.9 per cent above the global rate of inflation.