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New range of $4.6b - $5b for share programme

Hon Bill English
Minister of Finance

4 December 2013

New range of $4.6b - $5b for share programme

The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update this month will revise the estimated range of proceeds from the Government’s share offer programme to $4.6 billion - $5 billion, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“The revised assumption of share sale proceeds is based on Solid Energy clearly being in no position to be sold anytime soon, and it takes account of other developments and the results of share offers to date,” he told Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee today.

“This is cash the Treasury expects taxpayers to receive, which can be invested in new priority public assets without the Government having to borrow from overseas lenders.”

The Treasury’s early estimates of share offer proceeds in 2011 were between $5 billion and $7 billion, based on five companies being in the programme – including Solid Energy. And, for the purposes of forecasting, the Treasury has assumed sale receipts would be at the $6 billion mid-point of the range.

Excluding Solid Energy from the programme, those earlier assumptions put the estimated proceeds from the share programme at between $4.4 billion and $6.1 billion.

“So we are on track to be within that range,” Mr English says.

The sale of minority stakes in Mighty River Power, Meridian Energy and Air New Zealand has raised almost $4 billion for taxpayers. Genesis Energy’s share offer is planned for the first half of next year, subject to market conditions.

“The share offers are generating billions of dollars of cash for taxpayers, which are being invested in new public assets such as schools and hospitals. The alternatives were not to build these new assets or to borrow the money from overseas lenders – options this Government rejected,” Mr English says.

ENDS

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