Temasek exits Hana in stake sale

Kennix Chim & Miyoung Kim

Temasek selling entire stake in Hana for up to $643 mln

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings is selling its entire 9.6 percent stake worth up to $643 million in South Korea’s Hana Financial Group Inc, a term sheet obtained by Reuters showed.

Both Hana and Temasek had no immediate comment on the proposed sale, but the deal comes as Temasek had agreed to support a $5.3 billion rights offering by Standard Chartered.

“Just looking at it, in terms of overall holdings, it already has stakes in a number of Asian banks, such as in Indonesia, India and obviously China,” Song Seng Wun, economist at CIMB Research in Singapore, said on Wednesday.

“And I suppose perhaps this is just a realignment or tweaking in its portfolio, as it perhaps shift the emphasis towards the resources sector.

The deal could also mark a setback for Hana as South Korea’s fifth-biggest financial firm valued at $6.6 billion tries to gather shareholder support for its move to merge with bigger Woori Finance Holdings to challenge larger banks.

The Korean government expects that up to four bidders, including a buyout fund and Hana, will emerge for its 57 percent stake in Woori, worth more than $6 billion.

Angelica Investments Pte, wholly owned by Temasek Holdings, is selling 20.4 million Hana shares at 34,300 won to 35,550 won each — a discount of zero to 3.5 percent to Wednesday’s closing price of 35,550 won, the term sheet from Credit Suisse, which is handling the placing, showed.

The investment vehicle became a top shareholder of Hana in 2005 when the South Korean firm launched a financial holding company. Hana’s share price has since dropped nearly by a quarter.

Of Temasek’s portfolio, 37 percent of its holdings were in the financial sector as of the last financial year that ended March 2010. It owns about 18 percent stake in Standard Chartered and has been lately investing in energy and resources companies to diversify its $134 billion portfolio.

Hana, which counts Goldman Sachs as its second-biggest shareholder with a 8.66 percent stake, reported a 10 percent rise in quarterly net profit this week to 265 billion won, helped by improving lending margins. ($1 = 1127.9 won)


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