Singapore urged to enhance transparency

Associated Press
28 April 2005

The International Monetary Fund acknowledged Singapore’s efforts to increase transparency, but urged it to do more in an annual review of the city-state issued Thursday.

In the report, the IMF suggested that more information on key state-owned companies would be useful. It cited the Government of Singapore Investment Corp., the state-owned agency, as a group that continues to keep accounts confidential.

Temasek Holdings, the other state-owned investment company, made its financial accounts public last year for the first time, a move the IMF characterized as a “milestone in enhancing fiscal transparency.”

“Following Temasek’s example, the staff suggested that the government could also consider publishing, without disclosing sensitive details, the aggregate assets of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, the broad elements of its portfolio and its overall returns,” the IMF said in the report.

The government says there’s enough internal oversight to ensure proper functioning. Singapore has a reputation for clean government.

Temasek’s investment portfolio includes top companies, such as Singapore Airlines Ltd. and lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd.

The fund also said Singapore could release consolidated public sector accounts and more detailed information about the government’s inflation target and its exchange rate policy.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore publishes a monetary policy statement twice a year but doesn’t disclose inflation or exchange rate targets.

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