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Singapore's Temasek sets up trust to promote Asian development
17 May, 2007

SINGAPORE - Singapore's government investment company, Temasek Holdings, said Wednesday it set up a trust with an initial endowment of 500 million Singapore dollars (US$330 million; euro244 million) to promote development in Asia.

The Temasek Trust will disburse up to 4 percent of its endowment funds every year to support civic and community programs in the region, Temasek Chairman S. Dhanabalan said at a briefing.
Dhanabalan said the trust symbolizes Temasek's "commitment to play a constructive role in the continued progress and success of Asia and people in Asia."

The trust will receive funds from Temasek Holdings' profits as well as gifts from third parties, but will not actively solicit donations, the company said.

Its initial beneficiaries include three not-for-profit organizations within Temasek, as well as a new foundation launched Wednesday to support education, health care, research and cultural exchange programs and promote better governance in Asia.

The Temasek Foundation will also support emergency disaster relief in the region, the company said.Temasek has in recent years been focusing on increasing its Asian profile through investments in leading or emerging regional companies. Asian partnerships - in China, India, Indonesia, and other countries - make up 34 percent of theportfolio of the government-owned company.

The new foundation could help improve Temasek's image with its neighbors after its purchase of a majority stake in Shin Corp., the family telecommunications empire of ousted Thai PrimeMinister Thaksin Shinawatra, drew widespread protests in Thailand. Critics said the US$1.9 billion deal placed strategic telecommunications assets in foreign hands, and was structured so that Thaksin's family did not have to pay capital gains taxes on it. (**)


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