…I think the question on impairment raised in parliament deserves a reply.

GICA fund manager sent me a pdf report of GIC for 2007/2008 last night.  Two things surprised me !  First on page 11 when i looked at the investments – I noticed what appeared to be very high exposure to public equities (44%) comprising 34% in developed and 10% in emerging.  The next area was private equity – 8% and absolute return strategies – 3%. There was 7% cash.  So GIC appears to have about 59% in equity exposure.   I remember during the Budget debate that an MP asked what was the impairment like to the investments of GIC and Temasek.  I think with such a large exposure of 59% (adjusting for the cash), the question seems warranted.

I think regulators/auditors are now revisiting the MTM (mark to market) rule as it is causing severe damage to the balance sheets of certain entities – in particular banks.   I think MTM is a good benchmark to know what an investment is worth if there is a market for it…..its relevance becomes less when the investment is held for the long term and there are no solvency concerns, ie the company remains profitable.   I believe that the GIC is a long term strategic investor which means that MTM may not be specifically relevant but its always good to know what the MTM figure is – and the justification for not making a paper provision if the MTM value is significantly lower.

The second thing that surprised me was on the staffing – page 42 – which states that they have 1000 staff.  From pages 43 to 45, I saw the pictures of their Managing Directors – there were a total of 53.   The figure looked very high – but maybe its just a title issue as I would normally associate Managing Director as a person with responsibility over a legal entity whereas GIC could be using MD as a corporate title.

Anyway – i think we should all read this report as its good to know what GIC is about and what its doing.

Source: NRA Capital – Kevin’s Blog