Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Straits Times snips off MM Lee interview

Source: Blowin' In The Wind

The Straits Times has run the Reuters interview with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, omitting a few paragraphs.

Here’s the omitted last paragraph from the original Reuters report:

Singapore's opposition parties wield little influence and often complain of poor access to mainstream media.

Reuters also quotes him as saying about the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) buying Citigroup and UBS shares:

"How could we have known this was the extent of the damage? You look at all the big-name banks that have gone down, misjudged the situation, ruined their careers," he said.

"When the market fell, we went into UBS and Citi. But we went in too early. That is part of the ride."

And did the Straits Times notice what Reuters says about the Citigroup shares seems to contradict earlier reports based on what GIC said?

According to the Reuters report, published by the Straits Times:

GIC last week converted its $6.88 billion worth of Citigroup preference shares into common stock at a price of S$3.25 a share to shore up the embattled U.S. lender, realising in the process a loss of around half its initial investment.

The Straits Times’ sister paper Business Times earlier reported:

The Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) will convert all its preferred shares in Citigroup into common stock to cut its losses. The swop will give it an 11.1 per cent stake in the troubled US bank, which announced a sweeping plan to boost its common equity base. The conversion will pare GIC's paper loss on its original US$6.88 billion investment in Citi from 80 per cent or US$5.5 billion to 24 per cent, or US$1.67 billion, based on Thursday's closing price of US$2.46 for Citi shares.

That report was apparently based what GIC said. For the Financial Times reported:

GIC will exchange its preferred shares for 2.1 billion common shares at a price of $3.25 a share against a conversion price of $26.35 under the original terms of the 2008 investment. But GIC said it would only suffer a 24 percent paper loss on the conversion based on Citi’s closing share price on Thursday of $2.46 since its stake would be nearly three times the size of the 4 percent stake it would have received under the original 2008 terms governing the preferred share conversion.

Also read Wayang Party's "MM Lee: what will they say of me after my coffin is closed?"