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News Roundup

Noble Group in Talks to Hire ex-Goldman Banker

Commodities firm Noble Group is in discussions to hire former Goldman Sachs banker Yusuf Alireza as its next chief executive, following the abrupt departure of the previous CEO, Ricardo Leiman, on Wednesday, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed source.

The news of Leiman’s resignation, combined with Noble’s first quarterly loss in more than a decade, sent its share price down by more than a quarter on Thursday, wiping out around US$2 billion of the company’s value.

Alireza was former co-president of Goldman Sachs’ operation in Asia, excluding Japan, the Financial Times said.

Olam Buys Turkish Hazelnut Manufacturer for S$63.7 million

Olam International on Thursday said it is planning to acquire the entire equity interest in Turkish hazelnut manufacturer and supplier, Progida Group, for 66 million Turkish lira (S$63.7 million).

The transaction will include Progida’s key assets and processing capabilities, including an ingredient processing facility in the Giresun region and two leased cracking units in the Ordu region.

Old Chang Kee Goes Down Under

Old Chang Kee, the curry puff manufacturer, on Thursday said it will open its first outlet in Australia in December. Situated in the hip and trendy Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre, the walls of the Perth outlet will be adorned with pictures of the group’s signature curry puff, giving the outlet a distinctive Singaporean touch.

DBS Partners with Singapore Post to Offer Bank Services

DBS Group on Thursday said it signed a partnership agreement with Singapore Post under which the postal service will offer basic banking services starting in January 2012.

The deal will boost the number of outlets for DBS customers to 140 branches from 80 today.

Yangzijiang to Acquire Remaining 49 Per cent of Microcreditor

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings) on Tuesday said it had acquired the remaining 49 per cent of the equity interest in the capital of Jiangsu Runyuan Rural Microfinance Co which it has a 51 per cent stake.

The consideration for the acquisition is RMB147.0 million (S$29.4 million). Runyuan is a licensed provider of microcredit to enterprises and individuals.