Singapore's Temasek hit by first loss in 7 years

Singapore's Temasek hit by first loss in 7 years

SINGAPORE - Singapore state investment giant Temasek Holdings said Thursday its global portfolio suffered its first annual loss since the financial crisis seven years ago as global stock markets were hit by a series of China-linked routs.

Temasek announced that the value of its global assets was S$242 billion by March, down nine per cent from last year's record S$266 billion.

The sovereign wealth fund said its net profit over the past year plunged 43 percent to S$8 billion.

Equity markets worldwide were hammered last summer by fears over China's economy as Beijing announced a shock devaluation of its yuan currency.

Another rout followed in January and February as questions were again raised about China's outlook and its leaders' ability to handle a long-running growth slowdown.

Both events wiped trillions off valuations worldwide.

Temasek said in its annual report Thursday that the outlook was still tough with the US economy heading for a modest growth path while China continues to see slowing expansion.

Europe's growth outlook has been dented by Britain's surprise vote last month to leave the European Union, it said.

"The external environment will remain quite challenging for Singapore given its intimate links to global trade and demand," Temasek said in a statement.

"However, Singapore's openness also means exposure to both mature and growth economies, which can provide opportunities for a balanced growth in future."

Temasek - a strategic investor that tracks long-term performance rather than year-on-year gains - holds among its portfolio telecoms group SingTel, Singapore Airlines and banking giant China Construction Bank.

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