Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) President Anselmo Teng Lin Seng told lawmakers Tuesday that the government “can invest daringly”, provided that it is aware of the risks involved.
Teng made the remark during a Q&A session when responding to an interpellation by lawmaker Si Ka Lon on the transparency of the government’s financial investment strategies.
Si, a community leader and businessman, criticised the government for not providing more information about its financial investment schemes. He also said the government only talked about how risky other jurisdictions’ investment schemes were.
The lawmaker also chastised the government for not learning from other jurisdictions’ success stories. He complained that the government’s investment returns were lower than the local inflation rate.
He also reiterated his call for the government to set up a sovereign wealth fund.
Teng said that his staff had been looking for investment opportunities ranging from the mainland to Japan and Europe. He also said that AMCM officials could give the government a more “daring” investment plan, given they are well aware of the risk factors.
“My understanding is that an investment plan should have high returns,” said Teng. “But, of course, there is a risk and if we have a consensus on what to do, we can choose to be more daring.”
Teng also said the government’s had been able to maintain positive investment returns since the 1999 establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR). He added that the government’s financial reserves had branched out from only having Hong Kong dollars and US dollars to also having Australian dollars, euros, patacas and yuan.
Concerning the feasibility of establishing a sovereign wealth fund, Teng said it may involve amending laws regulating government finances.