HELSINKI Aug 28 Finland's government investment
arm Solidium, which is likely to trim some of its holdings next
year due to state budget needs, views its stakes in local firms
as more important than those in Sweden's TeliaSonera and SSAB,
its chief said on Thursday.
The government earlier this year agreed to raise about 1.1
billion euros ($1.5 billion) from share sales in 2014-2015 as it
looks to reduce borrowing, and a large part of the sum is
expected to come from Solidium, which manages the state's stakes
in 12 listed firms, currently worth about 8.6 billion euros.
"Our Finnish companies of course are closer to our heart
than these two," Kari Jarvinen, the managing director in
Solidium, told a news conference, referring to Swedish telecoms
firm TeliaSonera and steelmaker SSAB.
"Both have significant operations in Finland, so they fit
our universe perfectly well ... But in case we must raise new
capital, we must consider what is the order of the stakes in our
portfolio," he later told Reuters.
"But one should not make too rapid conclusions out of this
Solidium owns 10.1 percent of TeliaSonera and 17.1 percent
of SSAB, stemming from Swedish-Finnish mergers at both firms.
Solidium on Thursday said it paid 900 million euros in
dividends to the government for the year ended June. To boost
that sum, it trimmed its stakes in TeliaSonera and holding group
(1 US dollar = 0.7572 euro)
(Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Mark Potter)