National's policy to sell up to 49% stakes in four State Owned Enterprises is about getting money out of bank accounts to help build the economy, Finance Minister Bill English says.
Speaking on Tuesday on Bloomberg TV, English said the government was looking to sell shares in Mighty River Power, Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy and Solid Energy. They had been reasonably well run for a number of years, although the government believed that with market disciplines they would be better run and get better access to capital, English said.
“Once the new government is formed, we’ll make decisions pretty much straight away about that [the sales process], and we would expect over the next 12-18 months to have a number of significant floats with a strong emphasis on domestic ownership," English said.
“Particularly [for] our households, who are increasing their savings rates and will be looking for better investment opportunities than our finance companies, which collapsed over the last 4-5 years," he said.
The sale process would get some money “out of bank accounts and helping build the economy.”
Mighty River or Genesis first to go
English's comments follow comments from Prime Minister John Key yesterday, who said either Mighty River Power or Genesis Energy should be first on the block, although not before the latter part of 2012. See yesterday's article here.