Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore government, is freezing pay raises and salaries for an indefinite period starting April, Bloomberg reported.
The company in a February 25 email said the steps and duration were 'determined by market conditions', the report said.
It has also asked senior management to voluntarily take up to a year-long pay cut of 5 percent on their basic salaries and will partially reduce their bonuses. As pert its latest annual report, it has 800 employees spread across its 11 offices.
Money saved from the 'salary-restraint measures' would be donated to staff-volunteer initiatives as an “important demonstration of our ownership mindset, sharing gains and pains alongside our shareholder, and supporting our wider communities,” the publication quoted a spokesperson as saying.
The company, which has heavy investments in China, has seen its interests hit due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Singapore itself has reported over 80 cases of the virus.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Besides this, its investment strategy of buying on structural trends, i.e. consumption patterns, has taken a beating due to the global disruption.However, this is not the first time the firm has introduced such measures. It took similar steps during the Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and the global financial crisis of 2009, the report noted.