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)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Adani Project

Adani Project

Australia approves Adani's $16 bln Carmichael coal project  Full Article 

India-U.S. Talks

India-U.S. Talks

Kerry to woo Modi's India, but quick progress unlikely  Full Article 

Paring Debt

Paring Debt

Jaiprakash to sell hydro plants to Reliance Power  Full Article 

Nifty Falls

Nifty Falls

The broader index hits lowest in nearly a week on profit taking  Full Article 

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

U.N. Security Council calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Foreign investors prefer Indian cyclicals, utilities - Macquarie  Full Article 

Debt Investment

Debt Investment

India's FII debt limit hike credit-positive, says Moody's  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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