New Zealand state asset sales proceeds lower - Finance Minister
WELLINGTON Dec 4 (Reuters) - The New Zealand government's state asset sale programme will earn much less than forecast, the Finance Minister said on Wednesday.
Bill English said the sale of minority stakes in three power companies and the national airline was now likely to bring in NZ$4.6 billion to NZ$5 billion ($3.8 billion to $4.1 billion), from an original range of NZ$5 billion to NZ$7 billion.
He said this was because the debt-laden, financially-troubled coal miner Solid Energy has been taken off the block.
"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 said in a statement.
The government has sold 49 percent stakes in power companies Mighty River Power Ltd and Meridian Energy Ltd , as well as sold down its stake in Air New Zealand Ltd to 54 percent.
It expects to sell a minority stake in the remaining power company Genesis Energy Ltd in the first half of next year.
The proceeds from the asset sale programme are being used to reduce borrowing and pay down debt. ($1=NZ$1.21)
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