IFSWF

Statement by the Finance Minister of Singapore on the Santiago Principles

Press Release No. 08/07
October 11, 2008

At the Ministerial Meeting of the International Working Group of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IWG), held on October 11, 2008, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Finance Minister of Singapore, made the following statement on the Santiago Principles:

"The IWG has produced a meaningful and credible set of principles and practices for the Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF), which most would want to follow. Concerns over SWFs' due to their being government-owned are prospective in nature, rather than reflecting their actual conduct in global financial markets to date. However, it is important for SWFs to continue building trust with investment recipient countries. The GAPP is a major milestone in this respect.

"Singapore supports the GAPP principles in full. The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and Temasek Holdings adhere to these principles and practices, and will continue to do so in the future.

"A key component of the GAPP, involving the need for adequate public disclosures, will enhance understanding of their roles as financially-orientated players whose investments are aimed at maximising risk-adjusted returns. Such disclosures have to be shaped by the SWF's characteristics as long-term investors, with the ability to take risks distinct from the global market benchmarks and to ride out cycles. A short-term focus in financial disclosures would be inconsistent with such strategies, and would not shed light on the right areas. In this regard, the GAPP strikes an appropriate balance in the level and type of public disclosures. It also makes clear that public disclosures complement the more detailed reporting by SWFs on their operations, financials and performance to their owners, to whom they are accountable.

"The complementary effort by the OECD in developing a set of principles for inward investment regimes of recipient countries is equally important. Investment recipient countries should maintain an open investment regime towards SWFs and not discriminate against them."