Friday, April 6, 2007

(Temasek + GIC) vs. RBI tug-of-war

Haha... What we all thought would happen has come to pass.

The Singapore government's uber-investment firms - Temasek Holdings and GIC had been stymied for some time in their efforts to each take a 10% sake in India's ICICI bank. The Temasek and GIC efforts were blocked by the Indian central bank - Reserve Bank of India (RBI). There is a law that caps to 10% the holdings of a foreign entity in an Indian financial institution. RBI had argued that since both Temasek and GIC were owned by the Singapore government, they are considered a single entity.

It had been commonly thought that RBI was simply jockeying with the law to negotiate a Singapore banking license for the State Bank of India (SBI). All of that has proved true. There is news that GIC and Temasek may be cleared by June to each take a 10% stake. In return, SBI will get a Singapore banking license.

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