Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm, exited Facebook Inc. (FB), Monsanto (MON) Co. and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD) in the third quarter as it pared U.S. stock holdings.
Temasek, directly or through its units, sold 4.3 million A shares of social-networking company Facebook, valued at $107 million in the second quarter ended June 30, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Temasek sold 1.42 million shares of seed maker Monsanto and 1.25 million shares of industrial gas producer Air Products. The value of Temasek’s U.S.-listed stocks declined by $329 million in the quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The investment company exited its positions in the U.S. companies as the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) has rallied 25 percent this year, extending records yesterday to close at an all-time high of 1,790.62. BlackRock Inc.’s Laurence D. Fink, who oversees the world’s biggest money manager, said Nov. 12 that stocks may decline as much as 15 percent because of political risks in China, Japan, France and the U.S. Bridgewater Associates LP’s Ray Dalio said the same day that equity returns will slow to 4 percent annually in the next decade.
“We believe that Temasek’s divestment from many of its U.S. holdings, particularly in the technology sector, during Q3 is indicative of a change of strategy in America,” Victoria Barbary, director at the London-based Institutional Investor’s Sovereign Wealth Center, said in an e-mail. “Temasek opened an office in New York earlier in the year and we expect that the fund is looking to make some large direct investments in the world’s largest economy, rather than using small stakes in listed blue-chip companies.”
Temasek’s only new purchase in the quarter ended Sept. 30 was Chinese medical device manufacturer Mindray Medical International Ltd. (MR), which is based in Shenzhen. The only company in which it added shares was San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc., which makes digital wireless-communications equipment. Temasek bought 401,170 Qualcomm shares to bring its total position to 6.1 million shares valued at $407 million.
Of the 460 S&P 500 members that have reported earnings this season, 75 percent posted results that beat estimates, while 54 percent topped sales projections, data compiled by Bloomberg show. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman nominee Janet Yellen said in prepared remarks released Nov. 13 that the nation’s economy and job market are performing “far short of their potential.”
Tan Yong Meng, a Temasek spokesman, declined to comment on the filing.
Temasek’s holdings jumped to a record S$215 billion ($172 billion) in the year ended March 31 as surging global stock markets bolstered assets. Temasek is wholly owned by Singapore’s Ministry of Finance and is the ninth-biggest state investment company, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute website.
Energy and resources companies make up 6 percent of its investments, according to its annual report released in July. The state-owned investor said in July that new investment opportunities include industries such as energy, resources, life sciences, consumer and technology.
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