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Temasek expected to raise issue over any suspicions in audited accounts of its portfolio companies
SINGAPORE investment company Temasek Holdings can be expected to query portfolio companies during shareholders' meetings when it spots something suspicious in audited accounts, said Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah in Parliament on Tuesday.
"Does the Ministry of Finance expect Temasek, when it sees something suspicious in audited accounts, to raise it at shareholders' meetings? The answer is yes," she said in response to queries from Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim.
Ms Lim had asked if Temasek queries suspicious practices in the companies that it invests in. Her question comes in the wake of Keppel Corporation's offshore and marine bribery scandal.
Keppel made headlines in late December over the news that its offshore and marine unit was smacked with US$422.2 million in fines after a former agent paid out bribes to secure contracts in Brazil.
The government also expects Temasek to uphold the highest standard of integrity and corporate governance, said Ms Indranee. This expectation is, in turn, expected from Temasek's investee companies.
Ms Indranee made references to an address that Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng made to Temasek-linked companies; the speech was made public on Monday. In addressing the chairs of major Temasek-linked firms at a session after Temasek's Chinese New Year lunch on Feb 27, he said: "In markets where practices are questionable and compromising integrity is required to win business or contracts, we have to be very clear - there is a bright red line our companies should not cross."