A huge investment company owned by a very small country may be set to top $200 billion

Key Points
  • Singapore's state-owned investment company Temasek was expected to report a sharp recovery in portfolio value, according to one investment bank's estimate
  • CIMB estimated Temasek's net portfolio value would rise 12 to 15 percent for the year ended March 31, rebounding from the previous year's tumble

Singapore's state-owned investment company Temasek was expected to report a sharp recovery in portfolio value, according to one investment bank's estimate.

CIMB was forecasting Temasek's net portfolio value would rebound 12-15 percent to a record $273 billion to 278 billion Singapore dollars, ($197.47 billion-$201.09 billion) for the year ended March 31.

Vivek Prakash | Reuters

The results were due at 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

That would mark a sharp turnaround from the previous year, when Temasek reported its net portfolio value tumbled by around S$24 billion, or around 9 percent, to around S$242 billion as of March 31, 2016.

It was the first time the portfolio had declined since 2009, which was during the global financial crisis.

But the markets Temasek has focused on have recovered since then, with Singapore's Straits Times Index up around 12.7 percent from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.

Those gains came despite weathering the Brexit vote, which the state-owned company considered one of the biggest risks last year.

Among Temasek's large holdings, shares of DBS rose around 27 percent over the fiscal year, while shares of SingTel were up around 4.5 percent.

Standard Chartered shares rose around 68 percent and shares of U.S.-listed Alibaba were up nearly 37 percent over the course of the fiscal year.

But on the downside, shares of Singapore Airlines tumbled nearly 12 percent during the fiscal year.

In recent years, the investment company has been targeting the consumer sector as a key investment theme globally, particularly aimed at growing consumption in emerging markets.

It's been betting on itchy Chinese feet, with stakes in Chinese travel-booking websites, as well as investments in Alibaba, and Amazon.

Temasek has also been betting on the delivery end of e-commerce, with a stake in Chinese express delivery company ZTO Express, which delivers packages for and Alibaba.

The company has also bet on e-payments, with shares in Mastercard and Visa.

Beyond the performance of the assets in Temasek's portfolio, the market will likely be watching for the company's outlook after Singapore's GIC, which manages the city-state's foreign reserves, issued a cautious outlook on Monday.

GIC's CEO Lim Chow Kiat said in a statement that the fund had taken a relatively cautious stance, citing stretched valuations, policy uncertainty and economic concerns.

"We are prepared for a period of protracted uncertainty and low returns," GIC's Lim said in a statement on Monday. "As a long-term value investor, we remain cautious and recognise that to generate good real returns over time, we have to be prepared for periods of underperformance relative to the market indices, some even for a stretch of several years."

GIC said that over the 20 years through the end of March, its annualized real rate of return, or the return excluding the global inflation rate, was 3.7 percent a year.

The Sovereign Wealth Center recently estimated GIC's portfolio was valued at $353.6 billion. GIC doesn't state its portfolio size, but on its website it said the amount was "well over $100 billion."