Financial Services Minister Kaoru Yosano warned high-profile fund manager Yoshiaki Murakami on Tuesday against expecting to have free rein in Singapore, where his core fund recently relocated.

“Singaporean laws are fairly stringent, so it is not a place like heaven,” Yosano told a news conference.

The remarks by the nation’s top financial regulator indicate apparent friction between the government and the shareholder activist, who is engaged in a private feud about management with the board of Hanshin Electric Railway Co. Murakami is the major stakeholder in the railway, which is trying to merge with another local railway.

Last week, the Murakami fund announced it had formed a new investment firm in the East Asian financial hub and transferred all funds under MAC Asset Management Inc., the core of a group of funds under his management in Japan, to the new firm, MAC Asset Management Pte.

Hanshin sale up in air

OSAKA (Kyodo) Hankyu Holdings Inc. and the Murakami fund failed to iron out their differences Tuesday over the price of the investment fund’s approximately 47 percent stake in Hanshin Electric Railway Co., sources said.

Hankyu and the fund, led by financier Yoshiaki Murakami, will continue to talk about the price, they said.

Although Hankyu and Hanshin agreed to integrate their operations earlier this year, the deal hinges on Hankyu’s acquisition of the Murakami fund’s stake.

The fund wants to sell the Hanshin stake for more than the shares’ market price, and Hankyu wants a lower price. Hanshin stock closed at 995 yen on Tuesday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, down 23 yen.

Circle K Sunkus stake

MAC Asset Management Pte., an investment fund usually associated with its founder Yoshiaki Murakami, has increased its stake in Circle K Sunkus Co. to 5.07 percent, a financial report showed Tuesday.

The fund purchased a total of 4.36 million shares for about 12 million yen between April 29 and May 9, according to a report the fund submitted to the Finance Ministry.

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