Good reasons for Olam to call off bond/warrant issues
If I did not hear it wrongly, one of the main reasons quoted for this cash call by Olam was to test its ability to raise fund from the market. This has been proven to be true with the $1.25b issue with Temasek’s undertaking to pick up all leftovers. And since Olam’s CEO has claimed that Olam did not have equity problems for the next 12 to 18 months, announcing the cancelling of this bond/warrant issue will pull the carpet under the feet of its critics.
It would also make Temasek look good to the citizens of Singapore. The perception now is that Temasek is rushing into such a deal like they did when the western banks came knocking on the doors and not enough time for due diligence. And if extending this helping hand ends up in the same way as in the last financial crisis, burning a big hole, it is not only a matter of red faces but the whole credibility of Temasek would be in question. Not forgetting more public money down the longkangs.
Some were critical of this intervention by Temasek using Sinkie money to save a non GLC companies. The white knight should be the parent company Kewalram Chanrai Group. Why should Temasek put its neck out when the parent company of Olam is not a party to it or prepare to lose its own money? Is the management of Temasek taking this too far, to bail out a non govt related entity using public funds just because it is a major shareholder and risking to foot the full bill for Olam? The non involvement of Kewalram Group in this bond/warrant issue is making people nervous and unhappy. Temasek should insist on a bigger participation by Kewalram to share the burden and the potential loss. Perhaps this is already done. Perhaps Temasek knows better and this is another good deal, another fire sale, to reap big profits. Whatever, Sinkie money must not be put to unnecessary risk too hastily. The only consolation is that Sinkies need not be unduly worried as Temasek is in good hands and getting the best advice money can buy.