Singapore's Temasek to boost US, European portfolios: Report

Singapore's Temasek to boost US, European portfolios: Report

SINGAPORE - Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings is looking to increase its investments in US and European firms even though both regions remain mired in economic uncertainty, a report said.

Temasek is "more bullish than most people" on both regions as it seeks to capitalise on US companies' edge in sectors like energy, healthcare and technology and European firms' global reach, a top executive told the Wall Street Journal.

"The luxury for us is that we are a long-term investor," Boon Sim, Temasek's president for the Americas, was quoted as saying in an interview published Thursday.

This "gives us the ability to make investments in the country we like at the time we like," added Sim, who is also the head of Temasek's markets group.

In March, Temasek - which has a global investment portfolio of US$156.5 billion (S$197.8 billion) - spent US$1.35 billion to acquire a five per cent stake in the Spain-based oil and gas giant Repsol.

In the same month, Dow Jones Newswires reported that the company acquired a five per cent stake in German chemicals company Evonik Industries AG for over US$780 million.

Sim, who joined Temasek from Credit Suisse last year, told the Wall Street Journal that the firm is planning to open small offices in New York and London.

Temasek, one of Singapore's two sovereign wealth funds, is a major shareholder in the city-state's biggest firms, including global players like Singapore Airlines, Singapore Telecommunications, and port operator PSA International.

According to its latest annual report, covering the year ended March 31, 2012, the fund's holdings in Asia and Singapore accounted for 72 per cent of its total investments, a five per cent dip from the previous year.

Investments in North America and Europe rose to 11 per cent from eight per cent in the same period.

Temasek is one of Singapore's two state investment vehicles along with the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

GIC does not publish the size of its portfolio but the US-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute estimates that it manages US$247.5 billion.

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