CHANTENAY-VILLEDIEU, France Dec 1 France's
conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon on Thursday
said he was favourable towards privatisations of state
shareholdings in order to raise cash for investments in major
Fillon, whom opinion pollsters currently see as the person
most likely to win next year's presidential election, added that
France should sell out of "unnecessary investments" in private
sector companies and cited carmaker Renault as an
"We are in a country which is riddled with debts, where
public state functions take up nearly all the country's
resources, a country with terrible debts which will have to face
higher borrowing costs in the months or years to come," Fillon
"So, this is a country which is no longer investing. How do
we make investments when we don't have money? My own view is
that I want to restart on privatisations," he added.
"If we take the example of Renault, I don't get the feeling
presence of the state as a Renault shareholder stopped Renault
from investing massively in overseas. So that's a bad reason to
stay (a shareholder)".
The French government has just under 20 percent of Renault.
It also has significant holdings in several other large
companies including Air France, Airbus,
Peugeot, Orange AND Engie.
(Reporting by Simon Carraud; Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta;
Editing by Andrew Callus)