actually, i see no need for temasek to be so secretive about its effective stake in Shin corp after its sale to mr surin. by being secretive, it only fuels speculations, opposition and unrest in thailand. btw, as shin corp is listed on SET, disclosure rules would require it to disclose their effective stakes respectively.
It's about protecticsm and national pride. Try put yourself in their shoes. How would you like Bank Malaysia buys over OCBC? In reality, OCBC already has stakes in Malaysian banking sector but they are smart enough not to raise the Malaysian public sentiment by owning a majority share.
BTW IMHO, the Temasek acquisitions are not hostile takeovers. Also there is no room for "being secretive" when it comes to acquisitions. Everything will have to declared in the stock exchange and the press, even before you make an offer.
Philippines, Japan, S. Korea, and Thailand are more protective of their economies than other nations in Asia. Singapore's strategy for development is quite different from theirs as their local markets are much larger (Singapore has nowhere to look but outwards, as it were).
1. Because of nationalist sentiments, mistaken patriotism and outright pure xenophobia.
2. Because of internal politics in Thailand, the opposition are using this as an issue to advance their cause in bringing down Thaksin.
The former depends on the maturity of a people, but in many cases, it's always easy to play up nationalist sentiments as people always have an innate dislike of foreigners to begin with.
The latter is very sad, first, if Thaksin really owns his company, then Thaksin has every right to sell to whomever he chooses, whether local or foreign. Second, Thaksin structured his deal very carefully to avoid paying taxes, it's legal if you learn how to exploit the tax loopholes (that's why you pay so much to the tax lawyers, accountants and investment bankers) but the opposition are playing this up to try to bring him down.
I guess Thaksin forgot that he can no longer act like a wheeler dealer businessman, as a prime minister, even if what he did was perfectly legal, his political opponents are sure to pounce on it, and now he's paying the price with the daily protests and possibly being forced out of office, all because he benefited from the sale of his company (even if there's nothing illegal about making profit).
their recent investment foray in the region has received less than desired reception in thailand and south korea. why?
I think it's because of the fact that it's well known that Temasek Holdings is the investment arm of the Singapore Government and not just a major company. So in essence, the Singapore Government is buying into these businesses and no citizen wants another country's govt to control their own country's businesses.
Our close links between the Govt and Temasek is undeniable.Therefore you have the association that Temasek = SG Govt.
If we don't do something about it, there will be further barriers to investment abroad.Not everything is about pure economics.Values-based and ethical investment concepts are catching on, and this backlash against globalisation is not going to go away just because you believe whole-heartedly that we are only out to make money.
Others will not see it that way, AND national pride to many, is more important than funds coming in.Call it the blowback of Doha or Davos, whatever you might want to call it, but the slate for foreign takeover of state/near-state industries is not particularly attractive at the moment.
Therefore, Temasek should tread carefully, or deal with the reality that is presented, not the reality they wish they could have.