Temasek Holdings Pte remains optimistic about prospects in China, even after two of its major investments there were sideswiped by regulatory crackdowns.
“We continue to look at the growth opportunities in China,” said Mukul Chawla, cohead for North America and also telecom, media and technology at the Singapore state investor. “Our stance on China remains unchanged in our optimism.”
Chawla spoke after Temasek posted a 25 percent return in its latest fiscal year, the biggest gain since 2010.
Temasek holds more assets in China than any other country, including early stage investments in financial technology (fintech) giant Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and ride-hailing firm Didi Global Inc (滴滴), both of which are in industries targeted by Beijing.
“It’s not just in China that we are mindful of regulation and changing regulation, so I don’t believe it changes our stance on China in any way,” Chawla told a news briefing yesterday.
China remains Temasek’s biggest market, with investments there making up 27 percent of its S$381 billion (US$281.84 billion) portfolio as of March 31, the results showed.
While the portion fell from 29 percent a year earlier, the China portfolio grew by S$14 billion, said Nagi Hamiyeh, cohead of Temasek and head of portfolio development.
China has been cracking down on technology companies over anti-trust concerns, while flagging issues of data security with firms such as Didi.
ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動) is working to ensure that it complies with data security requirements before going public, people familiar with the matter said this week.
Temasek was an early investor in Ant Group, which was last year forced to pull its planned US$35 billion initial public offering in the face of Chinese regulatory demands.
Temasek also joined a US$1.5 billion funding round this year for Didi’s on-demand trucking unit, known as Didi Freight (滴滴貨運).
Chawla said that he remains “optimistic” on Didi and Ant, without giving a specific valuation for the fintech giant.
Temasek was also a cornerstone backer of JD Logistics Inc (京東物流), buying US$220 million ahead of its Hong Kong listing in May.
Other China investments include Kuaishou Technology (快手), the short-video start-up that soared in its February debut in Hong Kong, but has since given up most of those early gains.
Temasek this year opened an office in Shenzhen, China, adding to its Beijing and Shanghai outlets.
“We will continue to invest. We will consider regulation as it comes forward,” Chawla said.
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