Singapore's Temasek names Lim Boon Heng as new chairman
SINGAPORE, July 22 (Reuters) - Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd said it has named Lim Boon Heng as its next chairman, giving the non-executive role to a former government minister as the firm's long-serving chairman retires next month.
Lim joined Temasek's board a year ago and will replace S. Dhanabalan, who will retire on Aug. 1. Dhanabalan turns 76 next month and has held the chair for 17 years.
The reshuffle will have little impact on day-to-day operations because the chairman is less influential than the chief executive in the running of Temasek. Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore's prime minister, has been chief executive since 2004.
Temasek, a major global investor with stakes in Standard Chartered Bank Plc and large Chinese banks, reported an 8.6 percent rise in its portfolio size to a record S$215 billion ($170 billion) in its last financial year that ended in March, helped by a rebound in Asian shares.
Dhanabalan, a former chairman of Singapore Airlines Ltd and of DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Southeast Asia's biggest bank, had expressed his desire to retire for some time, people familiar with the matter said.
Lim was a government minister from 2001 to 2011 and is a former chairman of the People's Action Party that has ruled Singapore since independence in 1965.
Lim, also a former unionist with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), was described as "friendly and unassuming" by Gerry de Silva, head of group corporate affairs at Hong Leong Group, who spoke in a personal capacity.
"He was very passionate about creating jobs and improving the lot of workers in his NTUC days and worked hard for an active ageing population," said de Silva. "He remains very active in church today." ($1 = 1.2649 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Saeed Azhar, John O'Callaghan and Kevin Lim; Editing by Chris Gallagher)