Connect with us


Blogger: Why can’t GIC be as transparent as Norway’s sovereign wealth fund?

Singaporean blogger Phillip Ang expressed skepticism about GIC’s transparency in a recent post. He contrasted GIC’s transparency with Norway’s SWF and criticized its habit to downplay its unprofitable investments, keeping them away from the public’s attention.



In a recent blog post, Singaporean blogger Phillip Ang Keng Hong penned his scepticism over the transparency of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), which manages Singapore’s foreign reserves.

He compared GIC’s transparency to Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF), and further criticised about GIC’s tendency to downplay its unprofitable investments from the public eye.

The vocal critic noted that GIC has made ‘too many’ bad investment decisions and criticised that these are not highlighted to the public.

He argued that GIC’s reluctance to disclose its investments contradicts its image as a competent long-term investor and raised doubts about its transparency and competence.

To illustrate his point, Mr Ang highlighted GIC’s investments made during the pandemic when interest rates were at record lows.

He suggested that many of these investments are likely to result in losses or bankruptcies.

For instance, Mr Ang highlighted the example of MultiPlan Corp, a US-based healthcare technology company offering cost management solutions for healthcare providers and payers.

GIC, alongside the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, invested in MultiPlan in 2016, acquiring a 7.566% stake valued at US$28 million.

Nevertheless, the stock’s value has plummeted significantly since its peak in 2020, dropping from nearly US$12 to the current level of US$0.55, marking a notable decline of nearly 95%.

In another instance, I-Mab, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in which GIC invested in September 2020, has seen a staggering decline in its stock value, plummeting nearly 97% from its peak in July 2021 (US$81.66) to its current value of US$1.76.

Four years ago, GIC participated in a consortium of institutional investors, led by Hillhouse Capital Group, which injected approximately US$418 million into I-Mab through a private placement.

At the time, Choo Yong Cheen, Chief Investment Officer of Private Equity, GIC, expressed optimism, stating, “Our recent investment represents the strengthening of our partnership with I-MAB. As a long-term investor, we have been supporting the growth of the company from a discovery-focused start-up, through its IPO, and towards becoming a global biopharma. We are confident that the company’s management will continue to maintain a focus on innovation.”

21Vianet Group (VNET), a China-based data centre service provider in which GIC had invested, experienced a significant decline in its stock price.

At its peak in February 2021, the stock price surged to US$41.60 per share.

However, as of the latest information, the stock value has dropped notably to US$1.94 per share, marking a substantial decline of approximately 95% from its peak.

In February 2023, GIC reduced its stake in VNET to 5.27% from its previous holding of US$75.41 million shares, representing 8.99% of the company. This reduction in stake suggests a reevaluation or adjustment of GIC’s investment strategy regarding VNET.

Mr. Ang also presented additional examples, such as Thoughtworks, IHS, Revance Therapeutics, CI&T Inc., Regenxbio, Pagaya Technologies, PT Bukalapak, GOTO Tokopedia, Oxford Nanopore, and Thai Life Insurance.

These examples underscore a concerning trend of declining stock values, despite GIC’s significant investments in these companies.

“The charts speak for themselves and there are of course many more similar investments, and others sitting on lesser losses, ” said Mr Ang.

He further questioned GIC’s potential argument that profitable investments compensate for losses, suggesting skepticism towards accepting such claims without scrutiny.

“Why can’t GIC be as transparent as Norway’s SWF?”

“Why is there a need for GIC to conceal the hundreds of unprofitable investments from Singaporeans?” he queried, pointing out the lack of transparency in GIC’s operations.

In 2023, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) emerged as the most active global sovereign investor, deploying a substantial US$31.6 billion across 49 deals.

In contrast, Singapore’s GIC and Temasek scaled back investments amid market volatility, reporting declining returns.

GIC decreased its investment activity by 37%, deploying 46% less capital at US$19.9 billion, thereby losing its position as the world’s most active sovereign wealth fund for the first time in six years.

Meanwhile, Norway’s mammoth sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global reported a historic profit of 2.22 trillion kroner (approximately $213 billion) for the year 2023.

This marks the fund’s highest-ever return in its native currency. The achievement is particularly noteworthy as it follows a substantial loss of 1.64 trillion kroner in 2022.

The Norway’s SWF widely regarded as one of the most transparent sovereign wealth funds in the world. Managed by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the fund publishes comprehensive quarterly and annual reports detailing the fund’s investments, performance, and strategy.

NBIM also maintains open communication with stakeholders, including the public, investors, and policymakers. It regularly engages with external parties through conferences, seminars, and consultations.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

2 possibilities …
(1) they keep losing $$$$$$$$$$$$
(2) ridiculously high management costs
my guess? It’s (1) + (2)

Should it not be that the CPF answers to this..??
The CPF gave money to MAS who in turn gave to GIC & Temasek..

This is SEA .

Banana is still a Banana .

There is a great chance that those $3b money launders made better investments than our gic and Temasuck put together.

Here where got transparency?!? Make you pawn stars, no stars is so to enslave and no stars to question them the mega stars or stars makers … Transparency?!? Ask about CPF already kena marked for purge and you wanna talk about transparency. They instill the overlords so that they can control the population, not for democracy or to seek ur opinions

GIC should/must be transparent?

One might as well hope for pigs to fly!

Idi Amin, Saddam Hussien, Putin, Xi, Assad et al. seems to have their personalities and alikes, clones magically inside GIC gambling with Singaporeans money. Who are they? Widely known EVIL people, CRUEL, DISHONEST to the CORE.

Just how pathetically uninformed and blissfully ignorant are most SillyPoreans huh !!!

It’s Philip via his blog that highlights and details the monumental losses, … and not for the first time either.

Lest we forget, which is SillyPoreans favourite past time, apart from shopping, stuffing themselves silly and sleeping, … it was Kenneth J who mentioned RidOut !!!

Sick and tired of repeating the same ‘ol shit really.

Anyways, … get back to your favourite activities people !!!

Did they report on annual return this year like they did last year?

I still remember news were spread all over over the record earning for year 2022.

But this year, I didn’t hear any “controlled news” here in SG about the return for Temasek or GIC?

Maybe their huge asset investments in China got “submarined” massively. Not to mention the disaster investment in Bayer AG

Transparent or not transparent , what does this matter to ‘ordinary Sinkie’?
Are the ordinary local fucks getting their CPF back?
Again barking up the wrong tree.
This election, PAP guaranteed win again. Only difference is WIN BIG OR WIN SMALL, like 4D!😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣

Thieves Robbers Murderers Criminals – most of their activities are carried out away from others knowledge, which means hidden, concealed, away from prying eyes, and largely it’s common not to allow outside knowledge because of criminal prosecution, negative priblicity, and undue, unwelcomed comments. Does this describe the mode of GIC way and style of Ops.

The other CRITICAL ISSUE is the UTTER DISDAIN of answerability to stakeholders – why like that. Er.. this is part of DICTATORS attitudes. But ENOUGH of STUPID Sheeps assisted these DICTATORS.

Cuz cannot lose face..asian chinese culture.malu lah..
An ex electrical engineer given the top position by her now ex pm husband to manipulate..errr .. invest our countries monies …like gambling…
What could go wrong?🫢🤪