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Alternative Market Briefing

Singapore’s GIC focuses on long term and skill-based strategies

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London:

The annual review of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, the GIC’s portfolio management review provided an insight into how the $100bn fund has structured its portfolio since inception in 1981.

The report found that the GIC Portfolio's 20-year annualised real rate of return for the year ended 31 March 2013 was 4.0%, as compared with 3.9% the previous year. 2012 saw the GIC undertake a review of how it managed money. The report says: "The aim was to position the GIC Portfolio in anticipation of a more challenging and complex investment environment, so that GIC could continue earning good long-term real returns. The review built on GIC’s strengths, applied lessons learnt, and considered changes to both investment strategies and governance."

Since inception, the portfolio of the GIC has gone from being conservative and liquid to an approach more in line with endowment funds. This happened during the 2000s and saw the GIC take up alternatives with greater enthusiasm. The early 2000s saw the GIC and the Ministry of Finance embark on a major review of GIC’s investment objectives and asset allocation policy with the outcome that the Ministry decided that it could accept higher risk and illiquidity in the portfolio. The report says: "The result was a Policy Portfolio with a large......................

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