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Saturday, 12 June 2010

Temasek, Middle Eastern Funds to Take AgBank Stakes - WSJ.com


Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings and Middle-Eastern sovereign wealth funds Qatar Investment Authority and Kuwait Investment Authority have agreed in principle to become cornerstone investors in the US$20 billion to US$30 billion initial public offering of Agricultural Bank Of China, people familiar with the situation said Saturday.

"Temasek is looking to invest up to US$300 million in the Hong Kong tranche but it could be less," one of those people told Dow Jones Newswires.

The sovereign wealth funds of Qatar and Kuwait are "likely to invest a bi gger amount with Qatar considering up to US$1 billion," another person said.

"Advanced talks are on and final decisions by the cornerstone investors will be taken next week," the second person said.

A third person said that strategic investors are expected to commit for about 30% to 40% of the Hong Kong tranche of AgBank's IPO.

AgBank, the last of China's Big Four state-run banks to float shares on the stock market, has said it will sell up to 54.8 billion new shares, or 17% of its enlarged capital base, in Shanghai and Hong Kong, if over-allotment options are exercised in the two cities. Mainland China and Hong Kong regulators approved the deal earlier this week.

China's third-biggest lender by assets said it will allocate 53% of the offering, or 29.2 billion shares, in Hong Kong and 47% of the offering, or 25.6 billion shares, in Shanghai.

With the deal approved in both China and Hong Kong, the bank will be on track to list in Shanghai July 15 and the following day in Hong Kong, people familiar with the situation said earlier.

Pre-marketing of the deal is set to start early next week, and the roadshow will begin June 24, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday. AgBank, more than 96%-owned by China's sovereign-wealth fund and the Ministry of Finance, has been trying to change its business model following years of government-directed lending to farmers and agriculture-related businesses, often in poor areas.

Turkey needs suppliers to fuel energy hub role | beyondbrics | FT.com


Can Turkey live up to its own rhetoric of being an energy hub? According to Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister now advising the Nabucco consortium, it all hinges on the pipeline planned to bring Caspian gas to Europe.

“The only project with the capability of opening the southern corridor [from Europe to the Caspian] is Nabucco,” Mr Fischer told a conference in Istanbul on Thursday, arguing Turkey’s future “as a hub, with political power” depended on its completion.

But three projects are on the drawing board. Nabucco, an ambitious scheme to pipe up to 30bn cubic metres of gas to central Europe, is competing for supplies with two simpler schemes using Turkey’s existing infrastructure: the ITGI project to connect Azerbaijan to Greece and Italy, and the TAP project linking Albania to Italy.