Finnish state fund says to trim TeliaSonera stake

HELSINKI Wed Sep 4, 2013 2:46pm EDT

A woman walks past TeliaSonera's logo during the company's fourth quarter result presentation January 31, 2013 in this picture provided by Scanpix. REUTERS/Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix

A woman walks past TeliaSonera's logo during the company's fourth quarter result presentation January 31, 2013 in this picture provided by Scanpix.

Credit: Reuters/Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland's state investment fund Solidium announced it will trim its stake in telecoms operator TeliaSonera (TLSN.ST) to 10 percent from a current 11.7 percent, saying on Wednesday it had opened books for an offering of 68 million shares.

Reuters last month reported a senior Finnish lawmaker as saying the government will likely trim its stake in TeliaSonera and insurance and investment group Sampo (SAMAS.HE), amid efforts to bolster its coffers.

Solidium currently holds 505 million shares and is the second-biggest shareholder in TeliaSonera, after the Swedish state. Deutsche Bank is lead manager and bookrunner for the offering, and results are due to be announced around Thursday.

Despite moves toward privatization since the 1990s, the Finnish state holds stakes in 14 of Helsinki's top listed firms and in 45 others, although it does not have direct ownership in Nokia (NOK1V.HE), which is selling its mobile phone business to Microsoft (MSFT.O).

Most of the value of Solidium, the 8 billion euro state fund that invests in listed companies, comes from stakes in Sampo and TeliaSonera, each worth nearly 3 billion euros.

Left-leaning politicians and union leaders have recently called on the government to keep sales of its stakes to a minimum to discourage job cuts.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando and Terhi Kinnunen; editing by David Evans)

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