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Singapore’s Founding Father Lee Kuan Yew Passes at 91

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Photo Credit: Prime Minster of Singapore's Office

Photo Credit: Prime Minster of Singapore’s Office

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first elected prime minister who served starting at the age of 35, passed away at 3:18 AM Singapore time on Monday. On February 5, 2015, elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew was hospitalized for severe pneumonia. Under Lee’s watch, he oversaw the modernization of Singapore from a tiny British outpost into a wealthy trade and financial powerhouse in Asia.

The Singapore Prime Minister’s Office posted, “The Prime Minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore. Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18am. He was 91.”

Lee Kuan Yew was active in the formation of Singapore and its eventual separation from Malaysia in 1965 – which he saw as a “moment of anguish”. Lee’s leadership dealt with the integration of a diverse population of Chinese, Malays and Indians. Fully aware that Singapore lacked natural resources and land, Lee sought to diversify Singapore’s economy. Today, the island country boasts international brands such as Singapore Airlines and DBS. Under his administration from 1959 to 1990, the sovereign wealth funds of Temasek Holdings and GIC were formed. He was the first Chairman of GIC’s inaugural board of directors. In 1990, Lee Kuan Yew was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong as Singapore Prime Minister.

GIC: Group President Lim Siong Guan released a statement in Singapore press:

“The GIC community is saddened by the passing of our Founding Chairman, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Lee had retired after 30 years of service in May 2011 and continued as Senior Advisor and Chairman of our International Advisory Board.

“Mr Lee’s contribution to GIC had been immense. In the three decades that he was Chairman, he guided GIC through many global and regional financial crises and saw to key milestones in its corporate development.

“In particular, GIC benefitted greatly from Mr Lee’s deep understanding of the complexities that undergirded global political, social and financial systems. His insights kept GIC grounded and focussed on the fundamentals when it came to investing for the long term.

“Despite his stature and busy schedule, Mr Lee always found time beyond Board meetings to engage GIC. It was a privilege to have him in our midst.”

Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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Why Japan Post Sees Promise in Aflac

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Aflac Inc. is an American insurance company founded in 1955. The company is the biggest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Aflac also has major operations in Japan.

In December 2018, Japan Post Holdings (JPHLF) signaled it was spending US$ 2.64 billion for a 7-8 % stake in Aflac. The goal is that, in four years time, Aflac will become an affiliate of Japan Post. Japan Post hopes to accomplish this by becoming the largest voting shareholder of the company. The world’s 13th largest company, with 400,000 employees, Japan Post needs to expand to chase further growth, mainly because Japan Post expects the postal business to decline. Diversification is seen as the optimal route to long term stability for the holding company. Japan’s economy is worrying. Japan’s aging population means that many insurance companies are facing a shrinking customer base, Japan Post settled on a plan to expand overseas.

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RDIF and Development Agency of Serbia Agree to Explore Joint Investments

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Development Agency of Serbia, also known as Razvojna agencija Srbije, reached an agreement to work together to identify attractive investment projects to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Serbia. Russian capital and businesses are keen on investing in Serbia.

In addition, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate on civil nuclear energy, according to state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom (Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation). Rosatom continues to expand it business of nuclear cooperation deals in a wide number of countries.

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