WELLINGTON, April 16 New Zealand raised NZ$733
million ($635 million) from the sale of a minority stake in
power firm Genesis Energy Ltd - the last of four
partial privatisations to bolster state finances although they
did not raise as much as first hoped.
The total amount raised through the programme came in at
NZ$4.7 billion, bang on the latest government forecast but short
of an initial range between NZ$5 billion and NZ$7 billion.
"(The sale) has raised billions of dollars that we can spend
on assets New Zealanders want, without having to borrow
overseas," State owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said in a
Shares in Genesis, which has about a quarter of the
country's retail electricity market, will list on the NZX main
board on Thursday.
Analysts have valued the shares between NZ$1.35 and NZ$1.93.
The government set a share price of NZ$1.55 per share following
a front-end bookbuild.
The offer includes a loyalty scheme for domestic investors,
which awards a bonus share for every 15 held for 12 months from
the offer, and the government has indicated a gross dividend
payout for the 2015 financial year of up to 16.5 percent.
Factoring in the bonus share allocations, the government
said 55 percent of the offered shares were snapped up by
domestic retail investors, 20.5 percent by New Zealand
institutions, while offshore institutions picked up 24.5
The government has also sold 49 percent stakes in Mighty
River Power and Meridian Energy, while
reducing its stake in Air New Zealand.
The Genesis sale had been considered to be the most
difficult as it was the third utility company to be partially
privatised. But market participants have become more optimistic
about the country's energy stocks, given that a plan by
opposition political parties to create a single energy buyer may
not come to fruition as the parties lag in voter support
polls.($1 = 1.1566 New Zealand Dollars)
(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)