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Singapore sovereign wealth leads the field in Covid deal activity

A new study finds that Temasek and GIC were in almost two thirds of sovereign wealth deals in the year to September 2020.

Singapore's Temasek and GIC were notably active in biotechnology and pharma, respectively. Photo: iStock

Singapore’s Temasek and GIC were responsible for more than 65% of all deals by sovereign wealth vehicles worldwide in the 14 months to September 2020, a new report has found.

The annual sovereign wealth funds report by IE University and ICEX-Invest in Spain logged 165 transactions between July 2019 and September 2020, a period embracing the normality of the pre-pandemic months, the onset of the crisis and the first six to seven months when it hit most markets.

Of this total, 60, or 36.4%, were by Temasek, and 46, or 27.9%, by GIC. The closest to their levels of activity, far behind, were Mubadala from the UAE with 17 deals, the Qatar Investment Authority with 14 and the Russian Direct Investment Fund with eight.

[VC is] a quite transparent venue, because start-ups are interested in comms and visibility
Javier Capapé, IE Center for the Governance of Change
Javier Capape IE University-small.PNG

Javier Capapé, director of sovereign wealth research at the IE Center for the Governance of Change in Madrid, identifies three reasons for Singapore’s dominance in their research: the fact that both institutions invest frequently in venture capital rounds, have strong internal teams specializing in asset niches, and have partnerships with other visible finance partners.


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