Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Temasek To Conquer Several
Malaysian Corporate Giants?

Temasek Group is a very aggressive and proactive corporate entity, regionally and globally. The name is synonymous with Temasek Holdings. Its investments are very diversified – telecommunications and media, financial services, property, transportation and logistics, energy and resources, infrastructure, engineering and technology, as well as pharmaceuticals and biosciences.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temasek_Holdings, Temasek Holdings is the investment arm of the Singapore government. It is owned 100 per cent by the Ministry of Finance. Its Chief Executive, Ho Ching, appointed in 2002, is the wife of Singapore's Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Lee Hsien Loong.

But, http://www.temasekholdings.com.sg/about_temasek/corporate_profile.htm classifies Temasek Holdings as an Asia investment company headquartered in Singapore. It manages a diversified global portfolio of S$129 billion, principally in Singapore, Asia and the OECD economies.

A Malaysian blogger who nicknamed himself as Ketua Perusuh (http://ketuaperusuh.wordpress.com) posted on 30 April 2007 a story about Temasek Group and its shares ownerships in Telekom Malaysia and Tenaga Nasional.

He also made an allegation through his posting that Temasek Group was now in the process of buying shares of several other corporate entities, especially GLCs, in Malaysia.

Ketua Perusuh said, several quarters in Malaysia had opposed and dissented to the move. But, he alleged, the Prime Minister was adamant to such oppositions and dissents.

Instead, he alleged that ECM-Libra was now said to be acting as a proxy to Temasek Group in buying of shares from some corporate entities and GLCs.

I double checked the posting about Temasek Group’s share ownerships as being written by Ketua Perusuh.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temasek_Holdings it is confirmed that as of 2004, Temasek Group owns a five per cent shares in Telekom Malaysia. But there is no evidence of the group owning shares in Tenaga Nasional.

Instead, I discovered that as of 2004, Temasek Group also owns a 14.73 per cent shares in MPlant or Malaysia Plantataion. This ownership enables Temasek Group to own Malaysia's smallest bank - Alliance Bank.

From http://www.temasekholdings.com.sg/about_temasek/corporate_profile.htm I found out that as of October 2005, Temasek Group owns a five per cent stake in Southern Bank Berhad. As of March 2005, the group owns a 15 per cent shares in Malaysian Plantations Berhad. And as of March 2004, it holds a five percent shares in Telekom Malaysia. Again, there is no evidence of Temasek Group’s share ownership in Tenaga Nasional.

So, Ketua Perusuh may have made his allegation that Temasek Group owns shares in Tenaga Nasional based on information or evidence only privy to himself.

He may also make the allegation on an assumption that the group’s ownership in Tenaga Nasional is being held by its proxy in Malaysia.

May be this is why Ketua Perusuh had also posed a question at the end of his posting on whether in the near future Temasek Group would use ECM Libra as its proxy to acquire many more shares in several GLCs and corporate entities like Synergy Drive, CIMB Group, MIMB, AmInvestment, Kumpulan Felda, Kumpulan Tabung Haji and MISC.

Lastly, Ketua Perusuh claimed that Temasek Group’s was aggressively investing in most ASEAN nations, including Malaysia, to satisfy Singapore’s intention of controlling the geopolitics of the region through its economic activities.

I am not in a position to verify such a claim. It can be true or it can be false. It is entirely up to the wisdom of the respective countries in ASEAN to determine it.

The least they can do is to be very thorough and extremely cautious in giving their approvals to Temasek Group to invest in their own countries.

In the case of Malaysia, it is only appropriate for the government to track and monitor the investments of Temasek Group, from time to time, not as a deterrent to the free flow of foreign capital into this country, but to establish whether such investments can cause or affect our national sensitivities – politically, socially or economically.

[For more information and news about Temasek Group, please access the links below:]







http://ketuaperusuh.wordpress.com 25.4.07

http://ketuaperusuh.wordpress.com 30.4.07


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