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Foreign media raises questions on Temasek’s BoA sale

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In particular, the NYT Dealbook and Financial Times.  In particular the pertinent question Temasek has refused to answer so far was the losses sustained by doing so:

Temasek has been criticised this week in the Singapore’s normally government-friendly press over the disposal of the BofA stake in the first quarter of this year, including its refusal to disclose the size of the loss and the timing of the move. BofA’s share price has risen sharply since March.

Analysts suggest that Temasek may have lost between $2.3bn and $4.6bn, but Temasek has refused to comment on the estimates.

The sale of the investment holding after little more than a year appeared to conflict with Temasek’s previous statements that it was a ”long-term” investor unaffected by short-term swings in the markets.

Temasek sold the BofA stake when there was speculation in the US that the bank might be nationalised. Temasek also recently said that it was shifting its focus away from the US and European markets to emerging ones in Asia and Latin America, where growth prospects appeared stronger.

NYT notes that it may be difficult for outsiders to estimate the amount lost especially since Temasek had already begun reducing exposure to ML before BoA took over it in Sept. :

The exact losses are difficult to quantify because Temasek had also offloaded about 30 million Merrill shares last year in smaller lots, reducing its exposure to the investment bank by the time BofA took over Merrill.

Conraj Raj of TODAY newspaper was also lauded for raising question the rest of the subservient media has not (click to read the whole article):

Conraj Raj's op-ed in TODAY

Photo credit to UTWT.

Written by defennder

May 24, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Posted in Singapore affairs

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