INVESTMENT BANKING | Tony Chua, Singapore

Temasek CEO Ho Ching may resign in August

Analysts see no disruption in the company’s operations, knowing that it had always executed smooth transition of its leaders.

Ho Ching, chief investment officer of Temasek Holdings Pte, the Singapore state-owned investment company, will likely step down in August, the Financial Times said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Ho’s departure is expected a month after Temasek releases its annual review for the year ended March, when it’s expected to post investment gains, the newspaper said on Thursday. That would allow Ho to leave on a “high note” after eight years, it reported. Jeffrey Fang, a spokesman for Temasek, declined to comment on the report.

“If there’s any leadership transition, they will know how to manage it in a way that there will not be too much disruption,” said Ng Soo Nam, the Singapore-based chief investment officer at Nikko Asset Management Co., which oversees about $126 billion. “Temasek is more than just Ho Ching. In the past, where they had leadership transition, they had always executed smoothly.”

Ho, 58, led Temasek in its record gain in the value of its holdings in the year ended March 2010 following bets on Asian investments. Temasek’s assets climbed 43 percent to S$186 billion ($151 billion) in that year, surpassing the previous peak of S$185 billion ($149.43 billion) reached two years earlier, the company said in its annual report in July last year. That offset the previous year’s S$55 billion ($44.42 billion) plunge, when it posted losses on bank stakes during the financial crisis.

Ho’s possible departure in August will come about two years after she had first planned to step down. Ho is the wife of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In July 2009, Temasek reversed its appointment to replace Ho with Charles “Chip” Goodyear, the former head of BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), citing “differences regarding certain strategic issues.” BHP Billiton is the world’s largest mining company.

View the full story in Bloomberg.

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