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Temasek Boosts Olam Stake to 19%, Says Attractive Long Term

Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, boosted its stake in Olam International Ltd. by another percentage point in the past week after saying the commodity trader is an attractive long-term investment.

Two units controlled by Temasek bought around 24 million shares between Dec. 20 and today, lifting its deemed interest to 19 percent from 18 percent, according to an Olam filing. One purchase of 100,000 shares was made on the market today, the filing said.

Temasek, Olam’s second-biggest shareholder, last week raised its stake from 16 percent to 18 percent, saying that it’s “pleased” to have the opportunity to add to its holdings. Olam “represents a reasonably attractive investment over the long term,” it said. Temasek earlier this month backed Olam’s proposed bond offering, agreeing to buy any rights not taken up by other investors.

Temasek referred to its earlier comments on Olam in an e-mailed response to queries today.

Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, plans to take part in the offering, according to a report today in The Straits Times newspaper. Rogers’s stake in Olam is “quite small,” the report said. Rogers didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Shares in Olam rose as much as 2.6 percent before trading 1.3 percent higher at S$1.545 as of 1:27 p.m. in Singapore. They have slumped 11 percent since Nov. 19, the day short-seller Carson Block questioned the company’s liquidity and accounting practices at a London conference.

Kewlram Singapore Ltd., which owns 20 percent of Olam as its biggest shareholder, also said it will support the offering of $750 million in bonds and as much as $500 million in warrants.

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