Singapore investor eyes tech stocks

Government-owned Temasek Holdings may be looking to invest in technology companies in expectation of booming IT sector, according to report.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Singapore's Temasek Holdings is reportedly looking to invest in technology companies, with the aim to ride what it anticipates to be a booming IT sector, according to a report Thursday.

Reuters quoted an anonymous source saying the government-owned investment company is keen to invest in blue-chip tech firms, and may also consider buying private companies before they list on global stock exchanges. Temasek recently bought Yahoo shares.

"They are really keen to invest in technology firms that are innovative... This also means investing at the pre-IPO (Initial Public Offering) stage," said the source.

The report noted Temasek's recent purchases in companies such as China-based online games publisher Shanda Interactive and BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion, as well as a US$242 million investment in Seoul Semiconductor late last year.

Temasek's move signals the IT sector's optimistic outlook, fueled by a rise in enterprise IT spending, said the report.

The Singapore company, which manages a portfolio of over US$127 billion, declined to disclose its investment plans, according to Reuters.

The report also noted that Temasek was more heavily-invested in the financial sector and telecoms and media last year, with technology making up only 1 percent of its overall portfolio.

Stuart Gorman, director of technology equities at Henderson Global Investors, said technology has the potential to outperform this year and is a "different beast" to the IT companies that had emerged during the dot-com bust.

Gorman said in the report that the IT industry is characterized today with improving customer demand and well-run vendors that have strong balance sheets.

Temasek last year sold Singapore chipmaker Chartered Semiconductor to Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) for US$1.8 billion, ending its 22-year investment in the loss-making chip foundry.

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