Singapore's GIC sells 2.4 pct UBS stake at 16.10 Sfr/shr

Singapore's GIC sells 2.4 pct UBS stake at 16.10 Sfr/shr

Singapore's GIC sells 2.4 pct UBS stake at 16.10 Sfr/shr

UBS, the world's biggest wealth manager, said separately yesterday GIC meant to place up to 93 million existing shares in UBS Group through a sale to institutional investors.

After completing the offering, GIC will hold less than 3% of the outstanding shares in UBS, according to the statement. GIC said it previously owned 5.1 percent of the Swiss bank's shares and that it will now own 2.7 percent.

UBS shares were marked around 1% lower at Sfr16.66 each, compared to a 0.65% gain for the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index and a 0.68% gain for domestic rival Credit Suisse Group (CS).

It was referring to the Government of Investment Corporation Singapore, now GIC Pte Ltd, one of two sovereign wealth fund in Singapore.

"The combined return on the UBS and Citigroup investments has been positive in mark-to-market terms", GIC added in a later statement.

"While GIC does its best to ensure that each individual investment performs, it must accept a degree of risk in order to pursue promising opportunities and optimise overall portfolio returns", GIC said.

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GIC had bought into Switzerland's biggest bank by purchasing bonds that converted into stock during the financial crisis, when the bank was reeling from losses on subprime mortgage bonds.

Selling 93 million shares at 16.10 francs each would raise 1.5 billion Swiss francs.

Reuters said GIC declined to comment on whether it still owned a slice of Citigroup, although Reuters data showed GIC was not listed as among the top 50 Citi shareholders on Monday.

The sovereign fund converted its 11 billion franc investment in UBS notes into shares in 2010.

But GIC continued to nurse deep losses on the UBS investment, a situation made worse by several scandals that the Swiss bank was caught up in.

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