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PM John Key says cabinet to decide on green light for Mighty River Power float details today; confirms ASX listing possible; confirms Goldman reviewing Kiwibank, but no sale planned
Prime Minister John Key has confirmed cabinet will decide on the formal go-ahead for the float for Mighty River Power (MRP) later today, including decisions on bonus share issues for retail investors, where it will be listed and the timing of the float.
Key told TVNZ's Breakfast programme the government still planned to ensure 85-90% of the shares would remain in New Zealand hands and that New Zealand investors would be at the 'front of the queue,' but he said a secondary listing in Australia was possible as it was a requirement for many funds managing New Zealand investors' money.
Also, Key confirmed an Interest.co.nz exclusive that the government had asked Goldman Sachs to conduct a strategic review of Kiwibank's capital needs, but that the government had no plans to sell the state-owned bank.
Key was asked if an Australian listing of Mighty River Power would give Australian investors preferential access.
"It may be listed in Australia, but 8 out of 10 big companies are listed in Australia. Some Australian institutions that buy shares on behalf of New Zealanders can't buy them unless there's an Australian listing. So the primary listing in New Zealand, the turnover is in New Zealand, but it's a technical rule they have," Key said.
"We've made a really strong committment. New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue. There'll be strong committments that if New Zealand 'Mum and Dad' investors want to buy they won't be scaled," Key said.
Meanwhile, Key said the government had no intention to include Kiwibank in the mixed-ownership model programme.
"Kiwibank, which is rapidly emerging as the growth business for New Zealand Post, they want more capital from the government. That's been their primary argument for some time, and so Treasury appointed Goldman to go and have a look at the whole business and see where the growth opportunities lie and see whether they're on the right track," he said.
"It's not with a view to sale," he said.
(Details, quotes added)