Temasek to set up new multi-bln dlr investment firm

Saeed Azhar & Kevin Lim

Fund will eventually allow co-investments by Singaporeans

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings plans to set up a new multi-billion dollar investment firm that will invest in wide range of assets, sources briefed on the plans said on Wednesday.

The firm, called Seatown Holdings, which is the English word for Temasek, will be headed by Temasek’s senior managing director and chief strategist Charles Ong, the sources, who did not want to named because the matter is not public, said.

Ong, a former banker at Lazard Freres & Co and Deutsche Bank, has been with Temasek since 2002.

Ong was named a director and manager for the new firm, according to a company registration with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, or ACRA.

The other manager is Nasser A. Ahmad, who was a chief investment officer and managing partner of DiMaio Ahmad Capital in New York.

“It is an investment company and it is not a hedge fund,” one of the sources said.

Temasek, which manages a portfolio of S$172 billion ($122 billion), already owns Fullerton Fund Management that manages hedge funds, mutual funds and fund of funds.

Like many other sovereign wealth funds around the world, it suffered heavy losses during the global financial crisis, particularly on investments in U.S. and UK banks. But the value of its portfolio rebounded significantly last year as global stock markets rallied.

The sources said the investment firm will eventually allow ordinary Singaporeans to co-invest with Temasek, as promised by CEO Ho Ching in a speech in July last year.

Temasek declined comment when contacted. ($1=1.416 Singapore Dollar)

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