Temasek diversifies into biotech, consumer stocks

July 09, 2015 08:27
Chief financial officer Leong Wai Leng takes part in a news conference at which Temasek announced its holdings jumped 19 percent to a record S$266 billion. Photo: Bloomberg

Temasek Holdings Pte is focusing on biotechnology and consumer firms that stand to benefit from aging populations and increasing disposable incomes, Bloomberg reported.

The Singapore state investment firm named life sciences, agriculture and consumer goods as the top industries to which it allocated money in the fiscal year to March 31, helping its portfolio value reach a record.

It added assets in US pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences Inc., Indian drugmaker Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Hong Kong-based health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson, part of Li Ka-shing's empire, during that period.

Temasek is broadening its investments to capitalize on the increasing medical needs of aging societies, mainly in the developed world, and a growing middle class boosting consumption in emerging markets.

The share of life sciences and agriculture in the investment firm’s portfolio tripled in two years to 3 percent, and the share of an asset class that includes consumer goods and real estate rose to 15 percent from 11 percent.

Its portfolio's biggest components remain financial services, telecommunications, media and technology.

The value of Temasek’s new investments was the highest in seven years, at S$30 billion (US$22.2 billion), and it made record divestments of S$19 billion, the firm said in its annual report, released Tuesday.

That helped swell the value of its holdings 19 percent to a record S$266 billion, while total shareholder return, which includes dividends, increased to 19.2 percent from 1.5 percent in the previous fiscal year.

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