Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. said it sold more assets than it bought in the last financial year for the first time in nine years, as it refocused on private equity and moved away from public markets where valuations are high.
The company, which owns large stakes in global firms including Standard Chartered PLC and China Construction Bank Corp. , invested 16 billion Singapore dollars (US$11.6 billion) and divested S$18 billion in the financial year ended March 31, as it rebalanced its portfolio away from traditional sectors such as banking and telecommunications.
Temasek said it remains cautious on global economic uncertainties and is focusing on new long-term opportunities including technology-related industries, life sciences, agribusinesses, nonbank financial services and energy.
The company said it is focusing on private equity over public markets, which it views as highly priced. The fund’s president, Chia Song Hwee, said that Temasek didn’t set out last financial year intending to divest more than it invested, but that “generally speaking the market pricing is a bit too high.”
Temasek reported a 13% return to shareholders in the last financial year, supported by a stronger global economy. It said its total portfolio value rose 13.6% to S$275 billion in the 12 months ended March 31. Its net profit rose to S$14.2 billion from S$8.4 billion a year earlier. Last year, Temasek reported its first drop in portfolio value since the global financial crisis, largely due to weakness in shares of public companies it had stakes in.