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Direct NZ share sales deal likely

Reported by AAP
Sunday, March 18, 2012
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Small investors may be able to buy shares directly from the New Zealand government when it partially privatises state assets.

The government is expected to sell 49 per cent of Mighty River Power via an initial public offer in the third quarter of 2012, and will later hold similar sales of shares in Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy and Solid Energy.

Finance Minister Bill English told TVNZ's Q&A program small investors may not have to buy shares through a stock broker.

"They probably won't have to ring a broker. They'll just be able to register directly themselves and the government will deal directly with them."

The government wants the companies to be 85 per cent to 90 per cent New Zealand owned "one way or another" after partial privatisations.

"That will mean widespread ownership by a large number of small investors. And, even for those who can't participate, they will be indirectly participating because their KiwiSaver will be buying."

Mr English said New Zealand institutional investors like state-owned insurer ACC and the New Zealand Super Fund would buy shares.

The government had yet to make decisions about exactly what different sized pools for individuals and companies would be available, "but there will be a large pool for New Zealanders to go and buy shares if they want to buy them," Mr English said.

The government will retain at least 51 per cent control.

01/10/2014 13:59Sydney, Australia. 1 October,2014
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