A Brief Research Note on the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore, Temasek Holdings, and Singapore Public Finances
25 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2015 Last revised: 11 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 8, 2015
Short Abstract: Singapore public financial data has large unreconciled financial discrepancies.
Long Abstract: Financial data reported by Temasek Holdings and Singapore reveal problematic characteristics. First, Temasek reports an average annual return of 16% for 40 years despite Singaporean and global stock returns averaging less than 8% during this same time period. Given the range of stock market returns and its portfolio companies’ returns, it is difficult to reconcile claimed returns. Second, Singapore has become one of the most indebted countries in the world despite supposedly running large and sustained government surpluses. Given publicly available economic data on Singaporean finances, there is an expected asset gap of more than $800 billion SGD unaccounted for from historical surpluses and financing operations when factoring in claimed interest. Third, given total Singaporean net incurrence of liabilities plus operational surpluses since 1974 of $822 billion SGD and balance sheet holdings of $834 billion SGD, the returns claimed by Temasek and GIC cannot be reconciled. This leaves a few scenarios. Either financial returns have been drastically overstated, there are large unreported Singaporean asset holdings, or significant unreported financial leakages have reduced investment capital.
Keywords: Singapore, Temasek, financial irregularities
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