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Temasek Lifts Olam Stake to 18% After Buying Shares a Second Day

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, raised its stake in Olam International Ltd. for a second day after it said the commodity trader represents a “reasonably attractive” investment.

Aranda Investments Pte, controlled by Temasek, bought a total of 23.9 million shares from Dec. 18 to Dec. 19, increasing Temasek’s deemed interest to 18 percent from 17 percent, according to an Olam filing today.

Temasek, Olam’s second-biggest shareholder, said yesterday it raised its stake to 17 percent, saying that it’s “pleased” to have the opportunity to add to its holdings. Temasek earlier this month backed a proposed bond offering by Olam, the world’s second-largest rice trader, agreeing to buy any rights not taken up by other investors.

Olam plans to offer $750 million in bonds and as much as $500 million in warrants to address any concerns about its liquidity, after short-seller Carson Block said the company may fail. Temasek could end up holding as much as 29 percent if it exercises all the warrants in 2016 at the earliest, according to Olam Chief Executive Officer Sunny Verghese.

The stock rose for a third day, adding 0.7 percent to S$1.55 in Singapore trading at 9:19 a.m. local time.

Kewalram Singapore Ltd., which has a 20 percent stake in Olam according to data compiled by Bloomberg, said Dec. 10 it also supports the commodity trader’s issue of bonds and warrants.

Olam has said it faces no risk of insolvency and sued Block and his research firm Muddy Waters LLC on Nov. 21 in the Singapore High Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Yun in Hong Kong at myun11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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