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Temasek's 2-week selling spree raises US$779m

[SINGAPORE] Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings has been selling stakes in companies from its portfolio recently, raising a total of US$779 million in the past two weeks.

On Tuesday, Temasek fetched US$186 million through the sale of shares in Thailand's Intouch Holdings, while last week it raised US$507 million from two block trades in South Korea's Celltrion and its distribution affiliate Celltrion Healthcare.

Other firms in Asia have also sought to take advantage of a market rebound to sell stock after the coronavirus pandemic sent many of the world's equity indexes into bear markets. While deals fell off a cliff as issuers and sellers stayed on the sidelines during the rout, they have recently picked up: block trades raised US$2 billion in the week of March 30, the most this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Companies have also been tapping the market for funding by selling additional shares.

For Temasek, the sales come at a good time. The Singapore investment behemoth is expected to act as a lifeline for many companies in its portfolio. Domestic businesses have traditionally represented more than a quarter of its investments and its 12 biggest shareholdings by value plunged by almost US$24 billion this year through March 20.

The investor, which had S$44.2 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments as of March 31, 2019, has begun re-evaluating new deals so it can prepare to pump funds into existing assets instead.

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