BERLIN Dec 26 German Economy Minister Philipp
Roesler wants to push the pace of government privatisation
efforts including in companies such as Deutsche Telekom
, according to an internal ministry document obtained
by Die Welt newspaper.
"The state has to withdraw itself from companies and
financial institutions," the Economy Ministry report said.
The ministry will push for the creation of an expert
commission to come up with concrete proposals on where the state
can reduce its holdings, the report said. The sales can help
Germany achieve a balanced budget well before the 2016 target.
Deutsche Telekom and railway operator Deutsche Bahn
are the two most prominent names on the government's list of
privatisations. The government holds 14.8 percent of Telekom and
100 percent of Deutsche Bahn.
The government also holds stakes in Deutsche Post
, Commerzbank as well as the airports
Berlin/Brandenburg, Cologne/Bonn and Munich.
In December, Economy Ministry state secretary Bernhard
Heitzer told Reuters that the ministry was interested in quick
sales of state holdings while rising share prices and low
returns on German government bonds make such deals more
attractive to investors.
"The clear answer is: yes," Heitzer said, but added two
criteria were important: "First is there an irrefutable
necessity for the state's involvement? And secondly what is the
absorbing capacity of the capital markets for each specific
The German government has returned this year to long-term
efforts to sell off state holdings after the 2008 global
financial crisis put paid to previous efforts, including a deal
on Deutsche Bahn.
The sale earlier this month of the TLG Immobilien GmbH, a
portfolio of commercial properties, for 1.1 billion euros to
investor Lone Star was the largest privatisation in five
(Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum)