State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall says the government is looking at schemes to reward long-term shareholders of partially privatised state-owned assets, in response to market research it's been undertaking.
In an attempt to make the politically unpopular share floats attractive at a hip pocket level, Ryall told TV3's The Nation current affairs show the government is considering parcelling shares in $1000 bundles and studying a Queensland state government bonus share scheme. It rewards shareholders who hold their shares in the privatised state railway for a specified time. Interest.co.nz reported in January that the government was likely to follow the Queensland example.
The Nation reported Ryall as saying the government is currently undertaking research to see what participants in the share market might want the forthcoming float of four state owned energy companies to look like.
“Clearly if we're to have as much everyday New Zealander participation, we've got to make it as attractive as we can,” he said.
“Certainly I think the experience in Queensland has been that it has encouraged Queenslanders to hold on to their shares longer,” he said.“We'll be considering that over the next few months, but I wouldn’t want people to think that that is necessarily going to be a feature of the offer."
The asset sales are deeply unpopular in some circles, and have been the subject of a North Island protest hikoi and a petition seeking a citizens' initiated referendum on the sale started last week.
MightyRiverPower, a state-owned power company that owns the Mercury retail brand, is the first company on the block, with the government committing to maintain 51 percent majority ownership and control and preventing any other shareholder from owning more than 10 percent of the shares.