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Thread: Ho Ching to step down from Temasek Oct 1

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    February 6, 2009, 4.19 pm (Singapore time)

    Ho Ching to step down from Temasek Oct 1


    SINGAPORE - Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd on Friday announced the stepping down of its chief executive officer, Ho Ching, effective Oct 1, 2009.

    Mr Goodyear will take over as CEO-designate on March 1 and on Oct 1 will succeed Ms Ho, who has led Temasek since January 2004

    The Singapore investment company, which manages a US$134 billion portfolio, said it had hired Charles (Chip) W Goodyear as her successor.

    Mr Goodyear, 51, an American, joined the Temasek board on Feb 1.

    He assumes the position of CEO designate on March 1 and will succeed Ms Ho on Oct 1, 2009.

    Mr Goodyear retired from BHP Billiton on Jan 1, 2008 after leading the world's largest diversified resources company through its rapid growth and expansion.

    Ms Ho, wife of Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, joined Temasek as a director in January 2002, becoming its executive director in May 2002 and CEO since January 2004.

    Ms Ho was ranked the eighth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, just behind US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last year.

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    Default Ho Ching to leave Temasek

    Feb 6, 2009

    Ho Ching to leave Temasek

    She will be succeeded by ex-BHP's Goodyear.

    Temasek Holdings on Friday announced that its chief executive Ho Ching (right) will step down and be replaced by former BHP Billiton CEO Chip Goodyear (left) on Oct 1. -- PHOTOS: ZAOBAO &

    TEMASEK Holdings on Friday announced that its chief executive Ho Ching will step down after almost seven years at the helm of Singapore?s $185 billion state-owned investment company.

    She will be replaced by American Charles "Chip" Goodyear, 51, former BHP Billiton CEO Chip Goodyear on Oct 1. Ms Ho Ching, 55, wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, joined Temasek as a director in January 2002 and has been CEO since January 2004.

    "The team has already embarked on a different stance since mid-2007, and has begun to review its long-term plans under different scenarios prompted by the economic downturn," Temasek chairman S. Dhanabalan said at a media briefing on Friday, "If we are to bring in new leadership, it would be just as good a time as any to involve a new leader in this review."

    Added Mr Dhanabalan: "Under Ho Ching and her leadership, our mission, our values an our strategic directions have been defined. Temasek has grown into an institution sitting on a foundation of strong and diverse international talent, and firmly anchored to sound commercial principles and value creation for shareholders."

    Ms Ho will also no longer be a member of the company's board, said Temasek.

    Mr Goodyear, 51, an American, stepped down as CEO of Anglo-Australian giant BHP Billiton, the world's largest miner, in January 2007. He joined Temasek's board on Sunday and will be appointed CEO designate on March 1. Mr Goodyear spent 14 years in the commodities industry. He has also held positions at Freeport-McMoran Inc. and Kidder Peabody & Co, an investment bank, said Bloomberg news.

    Temasek, a sovereign wealth fund, had S$185 billion in assets as at March 2008. Since December 2007, Temasek has ploughed billions of dollars into former Wall Street investment bank Merrill Lynch, which suffered massive losses from US sub-prime, or higher-risk, mortgage investments.

    According to Reuters, Temasek's US$5 billion plus investment in Merrill alone has resulted in a loss of more than US$2 billion. The sovereign wealth fund?s key investments include 28 percent of DBS Group, just under a fifth of Standard Chartered Bank and about 3.8 percent of Bank of America (BoA) following BoA's takeover of Merrill Lynch.

    Ms Ho, who holds a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Stanford University, led the drive to increase Temasek's holdings outside Singapore. Under her watch, Temasek bought stakes in Chinese lenders China Construction Bank Corp. and Bank of China Ltd., and became the largest shareholder in Merrill Lynch before its takeover by Bank of America Corp.

    In October 2004, she ended 30 years of financial secrecy at the company by publishing Temasek's first-ever annual review. After graduating in 1976, Ms Ho joined Singapore's Ministry of Defence, where she was assigned to the Defence Science Organisation, which adapted and developed weapons systems for Singapore's fledgling military.

    Ms Ho joined a Temasek unit, Singapore Technologies Pte, an unlisted holding company for Temasek's engineering, technology, military and property companies, in 1987. Her first job was deputy director of engineering. She rose to president and CEO before "retiring" in 2001 at the age of 48, according to her official resume. The following year, Mr Dhanabalan appointed her as executive director.

    Temasek invested about US$5.9 billion in Merrill Lynch. It bought about 9 per cent of the New York-based firm in December 2007 for US$5 billion, or US$48 a share, though its effective purchase price was reduced in July when the bank gave it a further $2.5 billion in shares. The investment bank's shares lost 78 per cent last year before the stock was delisted following the Bank of America purchase.

    The Singapore investment company now holds about 189 million shares in Bank of America after converting its Merrill Lynch stock.

    In a Jan 5 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Temasek said it held about 219.7 million Merrill Lynch shares. Bank of America completed the Merrill Lynch purchase on Jan 1.

    Temasek is one of the largest shareholders in Standard Chartered Plc, DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and owns stakes in Barclays Plc, India's ICICI Bank Ltd. and lenders in Indonesia, South Korea and Pakistan.

    Along with China Development Bank Corp., Temasek paid 3.6 billion euros (US$4.6 billion) in 2007 for a 5.2 percent stake in Barclays and added another 4.5 billion pounds (US$6.6 billion) in June at about half the price. Barclays' share price plunged nearly 66 percent since June.

    Temasek posted losses smaller than the decline in the global markets last year because it reduced stock holdings early in the crisis, Singapore's Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said last month.

    The two state-owned investment companies lowered their holdings in equities "early in the crisis", helping them post a smaller drop in their portfolios in 2008, he added.

    Temasek in August said profit doubled to a record S$18.2 billion in the year to March, as sales of energy and Chinese banking assets offset slowing returns from stock market investments. -- REUTERS, AFP

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