Sydney, 19 May (Argus) — The New Zealand government said today it estimates to raise between NZ$5bn-$7bn ($4bn-$5.6bn) from the partial privatisation of three state-owned utilities, coal miner Solid Energy and reducing its stake in national carrier Air New Zealand.
The estimates were unveiled in the government's budget for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2012. The government will carry out the asset sales during a three to five year timeframe starting in 2012, providing the government is re-elected at the 26 November election, finance minister Bill English said. The main opposition party Labour is against the state asset sales, although the ruling conservative National party is ahead in the latest opinion polls.
The government plans to keep majority control of utilities Mighty River Power, Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy, along with Solid Energy and Air New Zealand, which it describes as a mixed ownership model. “The treasury estimates that extending the mixed ownership model to the four energy state-owned enterprises and reducing the government's majority shareholding in Air New Zealand are likely to free up between NZ$5bn and NZ$7bn of capital, depending on the final structure of the programme,” the 2011-12 budget papers showed.
Funds raised from the asset sales will be used to fund schools, hospitals and high-speed internet infrastructure, the government said. “The government will be a substantial net acquirer of assets in the five years to 2015. Its total assets are expected to rise by NZ$34.3bn to NZ$257.7bn in 2015,” according to the budget papers.
Send comments to email@example.com
If you would like to review other ArgusMedia.com content options, request more information about Argus' energy news, data and analysis services.
Copyright © 2011 Argus Media Ltd - www.ArgusMedia.com - All rights reserved.