Norway to take first steps towards cutting state ownership

OSLO Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:10pm IST

A general view of Statoil's office is seen in Stavanger in this January 18, 2013 file photo provided by NTB Scanpix. REUTERS/Kent Skibstad/NTB Scanpix

A general view of Statoil's office is seen in Stavanger in this January 18, 2013 file photo provided by NTB Scanpix.

Credit: Reuters/Kent Skibstad/NTB Scanpix

Stocks

   

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway aims to begin a legal process in the spring that could lead to a reduction in state holdings in a number of the country's big companies, the country's trade and industry minister said on Tuesday.

Norway's center-right government, in power since October, is committed to reducing the state's role in the economy, which includes selling off part of the stakes its holds in some companies.

A government white paper would be the first step in the political process to reduce the stakes.

"I hope that we can present a white paper on (state) ownership in the spring," trade and industry minister Monica Maeland told Reuters on the sidelines of a visit to the Oslo stock exchange.

"The spring is approaching fast. But that is the plan." She declined to give further details.

The government has stakes in most big Norwegian companies, including oil firm Statoil (STL.OL), aluminum producer Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL), bank DNB (DNB.OL), fertilizer maker Yara (YAR.OL) and telecoms firm Telenor (TEL.OL).

Other smaller firms it has stakes in include fish farmer Cermaq CEQ.OL, property firm Entra ENTRA.UL and energy company StatkraftSTATKF.UL, Europe's biggest producer of renewable energy.

Separately, the minister said the current crown level, which is near a four-year low against the euro, was positive for the country's corporate sector.

"The crown level is good for Norwegian companies," she said. "It is good that the crown is weaker."

Many Norwegian companies are export-oriented, and a weak crown makes selling abroad more profitable.

(Reporting by Henrik Stolen; Writing by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Jane Merriman)

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Pending Reform

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Power Theft

Power Theft

India to invest $4 billion to tackle power theft  Full Article 

Debt Funds

Debt Funds

India monitors foreign flows into debt funds, may tighten rules  Full Article 

Bulgari Back in India

Bulgari Back in India

CEO: we shouldn’t have left India so we’re back  Full Article 

 Hindu "Modi-fication"

Hindu "Modi-fication"

Fears grow about Hindu "Modi-fication" of education  Full Article 

Weak Credit

Weak Credit

Hard to hit tax revenue target, credit weak - Jaitley  Full Article 

China Rate Cut

China Rate Cut

China surprises with interest rate cut to spur growth  Full Article 

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

RBI cautious on response to gold import surge  Full Article 

Economic Corridor

Economic Corridor

China commits $45.6 billion for economic corridor with Pakistan  Full Article 

Overseas Funds

Overseas Funds

RBI says overseas borrowed funds can be parked with banks in India  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage