Saturday, February 28, 2009

GIC raises Citigroup stake

GIC raises Citigroup stake
Feb 28, 2009

SINGAPORE (AFP) - The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) will convert its preferred notes in Citigroup into common stock, giving it an 11.1 percent stake in the troubled US banking group, the state investment vehicle said Friday.

GIC will convert the preferred notes at a price of 3.25 US dollars a share, below the conversion price of 26.35 dollars as agreed when it invested in the preference notes, it said in a statement.

The announcement came after the US Treasury Department said the US government would convert up to 25 billion dollars of capital injected into Citigroup to ordinary shares, giving it a stake of up to 36 percent in the banking group.

"GIC has agreed to convert its convertible preferred notes in Citigroup to common stock," it said in a statement.

"As a shareholder, GIC supports the initiative by Citigroup and the US government to strengthen the quality of the bank's capital base in view of the challenging economic environment."

One of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, GIC invested 6.88 billion dollars in Citigroup's private offering of convertible preferred securities last year.

Convertible preferred securities enjoy a fixed rate of coupon payment until they are converted to shares.

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