Photo of Ho Ching and Lee Hsien Loong at Vietnam

Singapore sovereign wealth fund company Temasek Holdings have lost an undisclosed hundreds of millions in 3 months from it’s state-owned company Keppel Corp. The state-owned offshore and marine company reported in their latest financial report that they lost S$619 million in total (S$570 million in penalty, S$49 million in related administrative costs) after they were caught with bribery corruption in Brazil. For the 4th quarter result, Keppel Corp lost S$495 million.

Temasek Holdings has a substantial stake but at an unknown percentage of Keppel. More than half of the S$619 million loss is expected to be paid for by Singapore taxes and CPF funds, which are managed by Temasek Holdings.

Earlier in January, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong raised the Retirement Sum to S$181,000 without any announcement. The husband of Ho Ching, the powerful CEO of Temasek Holdings also increased numerous taxes to raise funds for the national reserves. Due to the tax increase in essential supplies like 30% water price, electricity tariff, transport fares, carpark charges, cross-border taxes and school fees, the cost of living has increased and inflation followed after business costs were substantially raised.

However, the slew of tax increases in 2017 was not enough to fill the hole of Temasek Holdings’ losses, which are estimated to only bring in less than $300 million a year – half of Keppel’s S$619 million losses. In the coming Budget 2018 next month in February, the GST tax is expected to increase which state media said will bring in S$1.8 billion a year for every percentage GST increased.

It is unknown how much losses Temasek Holdings have incurred in other investments as there is no transparency or published balanced sheets. If both Temasek Holdings and GIC become unprofitable, CPF withdrawal rules will have to be tighten further. Since Lee Hsien Loong took power in 2003, retirement age has been increased from 55 to 65, while Minimum Sum has more than doubled from S$80,000 to S$181,000. Officially, Temasek Holdings and GIC maintained that they have been making profits – however, the two companies refused to disclose their accounts despite public pressure.