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Singapore fund GIC takes a hit with UBS sell-off

By shedding burdensome old investment, fund hopes to focus on new growth areas

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Lee Kuan Yew, the longtime leader of Singapore, was chairman of Government of Singapore Investment Corp.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- GIC, a Singapore government-owned investment company, said on Tuesday that it sold more than half of its stake in Swiss banking group UBS, incurring a loss. GIC is feeling the pinch of dwindling returns in a challenging investment climate. By selling a significant chunk of a legacy investment dating back to the global financial crisis, GIC hopes to accelerate its shift toward the digital arena and other growth areas to generate much-needed revenue for the country.

The sovereign wealth fund said it pared its stake in UBS to 2.7% from 5.1%. It offloaded 93 million shares for about $1.6 billion through accelerated book-building to multiple institutional investors.

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