In a 12 months the place most main markets have gone into bear territory, Temasek shocked on the upside with their internet portfolio worth hitting a file excessive of $403 billion, damaged down right into a one-year funding efficiency of 5.81% (or an annualised 14% compounded since its inception in 1974).
I had the privilege of being invited to their 2022 Temasek Overview, the place they shared extra insights that weren’t coated within the press launch. Listed here are some key messages that stood out for me:
A diversified portfolio primarily based on intrinsic worth picks
Temasek’s funding self-discipline is centred round intrinsic worth vs. a risk-return framework. In different phrases, the thesis for each funding must level to a transparent intrinsic worth and future development, which is then measured towards the corresponding risk-adjusted value of capital. Greater threat sectors or markets naturally get assigned larger prices of capital.
There are over 400 firms within the portfolio, so the above doesn’t seize the total image; as a substitute, it’s a consolidation I’ve accomplished of the firms that characteristic as prime investments on their public web site right here.
How did Temasek obtain optimistic returns in a 12 months the place most market indices are detrimental?
Other than a disciplined funding mandate, the clues may be present in how Temasek’s publicity and portfolio allocation is being managed:
You’ll discover that the portfolio is pretty diversified throughout totally different geographies and sectors. Therefore, whereas there are some positions within the pink e.g. Roblox, Temasek was largely spared from the latest meltdown in development / tech / US shares.
The elevated publicity to Singapore comes from a mixture of 2 elements: (i) valuation multiples in Singapore didn’t compress as a lot as China / US (ii) Temasek additionally invested $6.2 billion in SIA and took half within the rights points for Olam and Sembcorp Marine.
Temasek additionally continued to gather sizeable dividends i.e. $9 billion in whole.
What does Temasek take a look at earlier than deciding to take a position?
By now, I’m fairly positive most of you might be intrigued on their funding course of, like I’m. So I took the prospect to ask them extra about their thought course of behind each funding determination, and listed here are among the issues shared:
1. There’s a detailed thesis for each funding
The Temasek of us shared about their in depth due diligence previous to investing, in addition to actively monitoring and interesting stakeholders even post-investment. Internally, that is all consolidated in an funding slide deck that the remaining can even evaluation.
Notably, every thesis additionally lays out frameworks and situations guiding their entry and exit from the funding. Whereas at greatest an estimate, however there’s at the very least an approximate holding interval set out for every to information their decision-making.
2. Intrinsic worth and threat elements are essential
A lovely development story just isn’t sufficient to make Temasek act on the funding; as a substitute, there must be a transparent intrinsic worth as effectively. That is then weighed towards threat elements and price of capital earlier than Temasek decides if the funding will probably be worthwhile.
What’s extra, relying on the scale and nature of the funding, both quarterly or month-to-month critiques are carried out to measure towards the unique thesis.
3. Administration high quality is essential
Administration high quality is among the prime issues that Temasek seems to be at, because the capabilities of the leaders working the enterprise matter. Throughout COVID-19, this was tougher to evaluate because the Temasek group was unable to fly abroad and meet with the managers in particular person, however this has since lifted as enterprise travels have resumed.
Divest as soon as the funding thesis has performed out
Temasek’s Director of Public Affairs, Paul Ewing-Chow, mentioned one thing that I felt was price repeating.
“We’re mid to long-term buyers, and never everlasting buyers.”
In contrast to some buyers who maintain on to their positions for an indefinite period of time, Temasek sees no qualms in divesting when the thesis has performed out, or when there are extra compelling alternatives for them to re-allocate capital to.
This would possibly assist to elucidate why Temasek bought Nio (and at an impeccable timing too, earlier than Nio’s inventory worth began crashing) proper earlier than the correction.
Threat administration in a globally unsure world
Whereas Temasek believes that development will proceed to sluggish whereas inflation stays elevated, they’ll proceed to take a position – albeit at a slower tempo because it expects extra market declines.
Whereas its previous one-year and historic returns look good, let’s not neglect that even Temasek just isn’t resistant to intervals of serious drawdowns as effectively.
However extra importantly, Temasek’s funding posture is to journey out brief time period market volatility and give attention to producing sustainable returns over the long run. Whereas Temasek is open about the way it expects its portfolio to have larger year-to-year volatility of annual returns (with larger dangers of detrimental returns in anybody 12 months), the aim remains to be centered on long-term returns.
In a interval of sustained market volatility and an unsure future (recession? persistent inflation? stagflation? rising rates of interest for longer?), particular person buyers will do effectively to recollect this.