Singapore's GIC says converts UBS notes into shares

SINGAPORE, March 5 Thu Mar 4, 2010 7:30pm EST

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SINGAPORE, March 5 (Reuters) - The Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) said on Friday it has converted its UBS (UBSN.VX) notes into ordinary shares, chalking up a loss of about 70 percent in the value of the stake it has in the Swiss bank.

"GIC confirms the conversion," a spokeswoman for the Singapore sovereign wealth fund said in response to Reuters' queries.

GIC had invested 11 billion Swiss francs ($10.22 billion) in mandatory convertible notes in UBS to support the Swiss bank during the financial crisis. Its investment is now worth less than half its original value. [ID:nSGE61A0CJ]

The loss is likely to draw fire from Singaporeans, who have been highly critical of GIC's sister wealth fund Temasek [TEM.UL] after it lost heavily betting on Western banks such as Bank Of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) and Barclays (BARC.L). (Reporting by Kevin Lim, writing by Harry Suhartono, Editing by Valerie Lee)

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