KUALA LUMPUR - Temasek Holdings, Singapore's hugely successful state-owned investment vehicle, has been characterized as brusque in its business acquisitions, but seldom sloppy. Several recent investments, however, raise hard questions about whether the secretive Temasek is conducting enough due diligence before entering politically sensitive blockbuster deals across the region.
To offset its lack of natural resources and a land-limited local economy, Singapore Inc has gone on a regional investment spree in recent years, acquiring significant stakes in ports, telecommunications and banking assets through state-owned investment vehicles. Temasek, which was first established to raise capital for government-linked companies, and whose current executive director, Ho Ching, is the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has on nearly all counts had a successful investment record - apart, perhaps, from its botched attempts to launch an airline in the 1990s.
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