Singapore's Temasek to Exercise Caution in Crypto Space After FTX Nightmare

Temasek wrote down the entirety of its investment in FTX in November.

AccessTimeIconMay 29, 2023 at 4:21 a.m. UTC
Updated May 29, 2023 at 6:31 a.m. UTC

Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, one of the country's sovereign wealth funds, has pledged to take “collective accountability” for its ill fated $275 million investment in collapsed crypto exchange FTX.

In a statement released Monday morning, the fund said there was “fraudulent conduct intentionally hidden from investors, including Temasek.”

"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," Temasek Chairman Lim Boon Heng said in a statement posted to its website.

Days after FTX collapsed in November, the fund said it had written off the entirety of its investment. In November, Temasek said that the $210 million investment, which accounted for 1% of FTX International, and $65 million for 1.5% of FTX.US, represented 0.09% of the firm's net portfolio value of $293.5 billion (SGD 403 billion) from last year.

At the time, Temasek claimed that it did eight months of due diligence on FTX, reviewing its audited financial statements, analyzing regulatory risk, and cyber security threats. Post the collapse of FTX, Temasek said that intends to refine its investment appraisal procedure, especially for rapidly growing firms.

Temasek reiterated that it does not plan to invest in cryptocurrencies and said it will be cautious when considering new investments in the blockchain space. FTX was the only investment Temasek had in a crypto exchange.

During the heydays of FTX it was accessible to users based in Singapore, while Binance, its chief rival, was blocked.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) added Binance to the Investor Alert List in September 2021, yet made no such move on Binance. MAS later said this was because Binance directly solicited Singaporean customers, and offered trades in Singapore dollar, which was not the case for FTX.

Edited by Shaurya Malwa.


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