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90 percent of Kiwis not interested in Key’s asset sales

22 March 2013

90 percent of Kiwis not interested in Key’s asset sales

The overwhelming majority of New Zealanders have not registered any interest in buying shares in companies that already belong to them, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The Government is claiming that over 425,000 people have pre-registered for the Mighty River Power float. Even ignoring the fact that many fake registrations have been lodged, that means 90% of Kiwis have not registered.

“Despite a multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded ad campaign by the National Government and its sharebrokers, 90 percent of New Zealanders have shown that we have no interest in taking part in John Key’s asset sales,” said Dr Norman.

“The overwhelming majority of Kiwis won’t be buying shares in Mighty River Power. What happens to our shares in these companies now? They’ll be sold off to foreign investors, corporates, and the small number of Kiwis who have spare money for investing.

“Many Kiwis have rung my office to say they oppose the sales but intend to buy shares to keep them in New Zealand hands. That’s a legitimate choice but history shows it won’t stop the shares going overseas.

“In the Contact Energy sale, 250,000 people pre-registered, 225,000 bought shares, and only 80,000 ‘mum and dad’ investors are left today. Contact Energy is now in majority overseas ownership. Only a quarter of the shares sold in Contact were allocated to retail investors and, now, less than 10% likely remains in the hands of Kiwi ‘mums and dads’.

“It was the same story with Queensland’s QR National sale. Only a third of the shares sold were allocated to ‘mum and dad’ investors. Today, only 30,000 retail shareholders own only around 7% of the company. The bulk of the company is owned by corporates.

“We already own Mighty River. If it’s sold, our ownership will be diluted. If National really wanted Kiwi mums and dads to own these shares, they would stop the asset sales process now,” said Dr Norman.


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