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Temasek Holdings opens new US office

STAFF of Temasek Holdings, from the board members to their drivers, took part in a company-wide activity last month involving Bitcoin. In the experiment involving the digital currency, they learned how to make donations to their chosen charities from their Bitcoin wallets.

The Singapore investment company's chairman Lim Boon Heng said it was both a "fun exercise" to open their minds and a small step in engaging the emerging digital future.

Speaking at a reception on Thursday (Friday morning, Singapore time) to mark the opening of Temasek's new US office in New York City, he said: "While we see ourselves as a source of thoughtful long-term capital, we are mindful of the promise and opportunities of the digital world of tomorrow."

The event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel was attended by some 270 people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Temasek executive director and chief executive Ho Ching, high-flyers of the business community and top government officials.

Mr Lim said in his speech: "We are an owner interested in the world of tomorrow, even as we invest today. We are not bound by notions of geographic limits, and try not to be trapped in our comfort zones."

Temasek's New York office occupies the entire 14th floor of the Seagram Building, in the midtown Manhattan business district. This office will work closely with Temasek's branches in Mexico City and Sao Paulo in Brazil to cover North and South America, said Mr Lim.

In his remarks, PM Lee noted that the New York office was opening against the backdrop of Singapore's strong ties with the US and the US' vital role in Asia and the rest of the world. "The office will anchor Temasek's interest in the Americas, and be the focal point for Temasek to invest in and prosper with promising companies in the US," he said.

"It will bring Temasek closer to its portfolio companies here, and facilitate its investments in new growth sectors such as energy, health care, new media and technology," he added.

This is the second overseas office Temasek opened this year, after the one in London, which covers the European and African markets.