SINGAPORE: In a note published on the website of Temasek Holdings on Monday morning (May 29), chairman Lim Boon Heng said that compensation had been reduced for the investment team and senior management responsible for the investment decisions made concerning failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
FTX, once the third biggest cryptocurrency exchange around the globe, had been worth nearly S$44 billion in January of last year but filed for bankruptcy in the US on Nov 1, 2022.
According to a report from Forbes, Temasek, which is owned by the government of Singapore, had a one per cent stake in FTX.
By Nov 17, Temasek issued a statement saying it would be writing down its investment in the company worth US$275 million (S$377 million) regardless of the outcome of the firm’s bankruptcy protection filing.
To write down an asset is to reduce its value for tax and accounting purposes, but it still retains some value. It is not the same as writing off an asset, which negates its present and future value.
The note said that an independent team conducted an internal review of the FTX investment and presented the findings to the Board Risk & Sustainability Committee and our Board.
“Although there was no misconduct by the investment team in reaching their investment recommendation, the investment team and senior management, who are ultimately responsible for investment decisions made, took collective accountability and had their compensation reduced,” Mr Lim added.
He also explained the rationale behind Temasek investing in early-stage companies despite risks, writing, “we believe that we have to invest in new sectors and emerging technologies to understand how these areas may impact the business and financial models of our existing portfolio, and whether they would be drivers of future value in an ever-changing world.”
Mr Lim underlined that the company was “disappointed with the outcome of our investment, and the negative impact on our reputation” and noted that there had been “fraudulent conduct intentionally hidden from investors…as alleged by prosecutors and as admitted by key executives at FTX and its affiliates.” /TISG