PARIS, June 16 French President Francois
Hollande on Sunday ruled out an early sale of any state holdings
in France Telecom or utility GDF Suez, saying
market valuations were too low.
"For France Telecom or GDF Suez, we are not selling because
we consider that the share price is not high enough," Hollande
told M6 television in an interview.
The French state holds a 27 percent stake in France Telecom
and 36.7 percent of gas utility GDF Suez.
It also has 84.4 percent in utility EDF and other holdings
which put the total value of its stakes at around 55 billion
euros, despite significant market falls in recent years.
Hollande said he could sell shares in other companies,
however, to fund investments in technology and innovation.
"Each time that we can reduce a holding to get additional
revenue -- on the condition that these extra revenues are not
spent on paying operating costs or government employees -- these
revenues will go to investments for the future," Hollande said.
Government ministers including Industry Minister Arnaud
Montebourg have raised the prospect of trimming state holdings
with the aim of raising around four billion euros.
In March, France raised nearly half a billion euros from
the sale of a 3.12 percent stake in aerospace group Safran
with a view to inject the funds into small businesses.
The sale left the state with 27 percent in the firm.